For as long as I can remember, we’ve been the town walkers – you know, those people you see pass by your window at the same time, every single day.
Friends joke that they set their watches by our walking schedule. Neighbors notice who’s along for the walk and who’s missing. We have our morning walking route and our night walking route. We even have our Saturdays with the kids walking route (yes, one for the morning and one for the evening too!)
Routines are important. Bedtime routines, morning routines, even meal schedules can make things run smoothly. Systems take a lot of unnecessary decision making out of life. Routines bring order, especially for kids, and let you focus on what matters.
Our walking routine is helpful too: on Saturdays, the kids know the route and, therefore, can’t argue. There’s no need to think about which way we are going on most days – instead, we just focus on our conversation. We know exactly how much time each path takes.
But there are times when a little bit of change can go a long way.
Now that Israel is on a nationwide lockdown, I can’t help but think of last time this happened. On the last lockdown, we were restricted to the area 100 meters from home. Our walking route didn’t fit into those rules, so reluctantly, we changed it.
We had no idea what a profound impact this small change would have on our lives.
Our new walking route took us down a small dirt path on the outskirts of our town. Since it was all new, we were paying attention. We discovered so many amazing things on our twice a day walks: flowers, bugs, wild herbs, and more. On our path, we discovered an iris flower that opened up every day in the early afternoon. We collected wild thyme for our omelets and za’atar for pitas. We found a great rocky cliff, nature’s very own climbing gym.
This walk became so meaningful to me, that even after the lockdown, I would return to one particular spot to just sit and think. And after walking a lot in this more rustic part of town, we changed our regular non-lockdown morning walking route to include a long foray on this dirt road into the countryside.
When something changes, you notice and appreciate what’s new. If you thrive on routine, don’t be afraid to mix it up a little bit. Whether it’s your walk, your morning schedule, or your meal routine, now is a great time to try something new for a day. Sit down to lunch outdoors instead of having a quick bite inside. Read a book for ten minutes one morning before you start your day. Novelty adds excitement to life.
Changing your route can let you experience simple daily tasks in a new light.