Routinely necessary

What exactly is the routine?  Is it what we try to do, or is merely what we have to do – i.e. work!  Why do we work?  I work for two reasons – I have an extremely low boredom threshold and I like to buy pointless crap that seemed a good idea at the time and not worry about the waste of money.  The gym, our social life – can these be really called a routine when they can easily be changed and dropped without a second thought when our priorities change?

Having this time out has allowed me to realise that my routine is my work and that is it; work is necessary (well for me anyway) because it then provides me the means to do what I really want.  Some people live for their work, and this is there own choice.  I enjoy my job and selected a career that ensured no two days would ever be the same – one does frown on HR professionals who say they love HR because they’re a people person; stop lying!  Despite enjoying my work, if I won the lottery tomorrow I could guarantee that it would change me as I would no longer have work as my routine.

The benefit of having your routine only being about work is that everything else is moveable and as your priorities change you feel less like you are losing control over things that really don’t matter when you look at them in context.  I went to the the gym once this week and for the first time in the last six months, I’m not at all bothered.  After Mum died, I became obsessed with gym and diet, and this was for one reason only – in that moment of my life, how my body looked or could look was the only thing that I truly believed I had any control over as it didn’t involve anyone else.  It gave me something positive to focus on and it ended up being a constant reinforcement of failure when I didn’t go – evidently not helpful.

I’m also one never to look a gift horse in the mouth, when I was forced to stop  six weeks ago I lost a stone in three weeks even though I was still eating a lot of junk and doing no exercise.  Not the healthiest form of weight loss and thankfully it was short-term, but I’m going to let whoever took that stone keep it – well until Christmas!

I’d achieved a goal that no longer mattered, without even trying.

The first few days back at work have had their challenges, as in trying to adjust to thinking all day – a taxing exercise!  There were two moments when for no identifiable reason a wave of anxiety crept in and it literally felt like a ice cold bucket of water had been thrown over me, a horrible feeling, yet rather than react as I had for the last six months and ignore it or dwell on it, I challenged it.  Why had this happened?  What was it that had brought back those feelings of self-doubt.  I have nothing to doubt my self about. Apart from what happened to Mum, life is the best it’s ever been and she would have been the first to tell me as such.  Sometimes you can’t explain these anxiety waves, they make no sense, and other times they stir up random emotions, even laughter.  You just need to question them, and if you don’t get the answers, that’s not the end of it.  I’ve always believed everything happens for a reason and when it’s supposed to; there have been too many times in my life when significant people have come into it at the right moment.  There are times though, such as now when this belief is really put to the test, yet one day, whether I want to believe it or not, it will make sense.

About Nick Lennon-Barrett

Originally from North-West, England, moving to London as an adult and carving out a career as an HR and L&D professional. The writing bug was always there as a child, yet it wasn't until my 30s that I finally did something about it. The joy of working in HR is that you're never short of character inspiration! I'm an enthusiast of both crime and comedy fiction so when I decided to write my first novel my aim was to combine these two genres tackling topical issues in a dark comedy murder mystery. This was the start of the DCI Fenton Murder Trilogy.
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