I had quite an awakening recently. And I can't say that too often. A week and a half ago, I was in DC. For days I had been playing with a train set in the sun room of my parents' house, building perfectly oval tracks for Silas (and rebuilding them after he carried off pieces) and even ones that included the tunnel, crossing gate AND bridge (very advanced). Then Zeke came over. Zeke just turned 3 and was very intent on playing with the trains. After he'd been playing for a bit, I looked over saw that he had built a track whose sides wound like a river rather than lay straight like the sides of my firm oval tracks. I was floored. It had never OCCURRED to me that I could make a wavy track. I was shocked --not so much by the now-obvious shape that lay on the floor, but by my own straight-line thinking. How did that happen? Amazing.
So, I've been trying to watch myself since then. I'm certainly a creature of habit and I love that in lots of ways -- rituals ground me and give me things to look forward to like champagne thursdays, the petting zoo in the afternoons, walks to our park -- but what am I missing because of my routines? Ben is out of town this week and I am trying to catch myself off-guard (well, I don't think that's really possible) but at least to challenge my impulses, to take a curvy-tracked route, to slip a bit.