Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Routines, potential, and happiness

I am always at my happiest when I have a routine to follow. I don't know why. Perhaps having a comfortable routine reassures me that I am actually doing something useful with my day. When I don't have a routine, it means that I constantly have a wide array of choices of what to do next. But a lot of times, a wide array of choices can be debilitating. I can't be counted to always make the right choices -- I might just decide to do what is comfortable, and lay in bed or surf the net or eat all day.

But when I have a routine, it means I'm not just floundering about. It means I have come up with a plan. And if I've come up with a plan, it means that most of the plan has got to be worthwhile -- I mean, I wouldn't put something in the plan if it weren't worthwhile. And having designed a plan means that I've probably designed into it something that's good for me -- for instance, time to do homework or read or perhaps work out. And in limiting my choices, it curbs my sense of confusion. I know what I'm supposed to be doing right now, and I know what's coming next. It gives me a sense of order, which I desperately need because my mind is inherently orderless. It gives me a sense of purpose. It gives me a structure which allows my otherwise incredibly disorganized (yet powerful) mind to actually accomplish something. Routines allow me to establish and fulfill purpose which I have set. It gives me a comfortable framework to help me reach my potential. And reaching my potential makes me happy. :-)

What I'm trying to say is that I have started to develop a routine to help me conquer the vast metropolis that is London, and I think this routine is going to work out just fine. Here's how it goes:
  • Wake up
  • Grab breakfast
  • Walk to school and spend 4 hours in semi-interesting classes about newfangled "international" law
  • Go to Starbucks, get a venti iced chai tea latte, find a nice comfortable spot, surf the Internet and do my law reading for the next day
That's all I have so far. I'm sure "see the sights" will tend to fill the rest of the void, and I still have three weeks left to see the sights (two if you consider that I'll spend about a week superstudying for the exams). Part of this routine also implies that I have paid for an Internet access plan at Starbucks. Okay, so I have. I know, I know, it's insanely expensive (40 pounds for a month), but it really helps me feel comfortable and "at home." I debated with myself endlessly about getting it, but then I just went ahead and did it, and I could not be happier.

So that's it. I have been here enjoying my latte and doing Internet things for about an hour, and now I am going to read for an hour or two. When I am done, I will feel like a productive person who has fulfilled some portion of my potential. And I will be happy.


Di said...

I too am a creature of habit. For how long are you in London? Is it a summer class?

Anonymous said...

I agree and disagree with you about the routine. I suppose with a routine you can accomplish worthwhile things like you said, and the general parameters of the routine you have created is real worthwhile.

But I like being spontaneous...let's see...take a midnight stroll through Compton tonight? Hell yeah! Do the funky chicken dance in the middle of a fancy restaurant? I'm in! Take a trek down to a cigar/wine bar in downtown San Diego and smoke a big fat cigar with a nice sweet glass of Guiness and gawk at girls walking by? Amen to that!