I am sure I am not the only one to notice that life goes by too fast! My theory is that the longer we stay on ‘autopilot’, keeping the same routine each day and not mindfully being ‘in the moment’, the faster time flies!
Especially living in Singapore, where there are not really noticeably different seasons, it is really easy to follow the same comfortable routine, without thinking, every day – already I can’t quite remember where almost two and a half years have gone since we moved here… and my life has changed a few times. We have an extra child to when we moved here, I have changed jobs, we have moved house, my sister got married and had a baby, two of my grandparents died - but still the time has zoomed past me into history.
Even in the loveliest, most idyllic places we still fall into routine and gradually the rate of new discoveries naturally declines and fades away.
We visit the same coffee shops, we take the same mode of transport and the same route to work each day, we do the same exercises in the same order in the gym, if we run we run the same few routes (and the same for cycling), we tend to stick to the same type of food bought from the same places. Apparently, we wash our body parts in the same order each time we shower and we even brush our teeth in the same order every time too!
I have decided to take on a new challenge and try something new every day.
So, sometimes I cycle a different route to work. Taking different routes to work or going off exploring sometimes means that I lose 10 minutes or so, sometimes I have to carry my bike up steps and sometimes I get to a dead end and just have to turn back. However, I have recently discovered that there is a ‘bikeable’, car free, protected path over the highway bridge that cuts off about 3km from my route to work. I still prefer my route along the water’s edge but if I am ever in a hurry to get to the office (or home), this new shortcut is really useful to know.
I have started to be mindful how I brush my teeth. Sometimes I start on the other side, and sometimes I start with my top teeth instead of the bottom ones. I am sure this is beneficial for my mouth – it means that all teeth get an even share of the toothpaste and an equally vigorous brushing!
I have bought a few food items on line that I have never eaten before and over the last few weeks, once a week I have started to buy my lunch from a place I have never tried before. I think that eating a more varied diet can help to avoid residual toxin build up from tiny amounts of chemicals in food that we eat regularly over a very long period of time. By not overdoing any one particular food, I feel like I am, in a way, hedging my bets!
Doing same type of exercises all the time can lead to imbalance which means you won't be at your most efficient and won't be able to transfer the optimal power from your body into which ever sport it is you are doing. Longer term imbalances can even lead to injury. A big, strong, developed muscle creating tension and always pulling a joint the same way is likely to pull the joint away from the mid line where it should naturally sit and cause pain or even long term joint damage. For example, over training the chest muscles relative to the back muscles causes an imbalance between the muscles at the front of the body and those at the back. The shoulders with time are pulled forwards as the chest muscles get stronger, bigger and shorter, making the posture more rounded, creating neck, shoulder and arm pain and potentially even tendon and ligament damage.
Another example that I have personally experienced is doing lots of endurance and strength training, but neglecting flexibility and postural exercises. I recently started doing Yoga again and I am finding it really hard, but already I can feel the benefits. I wrote about it here.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to say every single day, “I did something new today”?
Tomorrow I might try a different type of coffee. Who knows – maybe I’ll like it!