Routine

Max and I have a pretty established daily routine at this point.  Everyday is a similar rhythm of walking, feeding, playing, walking, feeding, playing…

And yet, Max seems to be endlessly excited about it. It is as if each time we are discovering or experiencing something truly new. Maybe he absolutely loves the routine or maybe he is able to look past the structure of the day and discover something new within the activities.

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I, on the other hand, often get bogged down by routine. Whether it is the routine of living with Max (which does take out a lot of spontaneity from my life since I have to come back and take care of him at certain times of the day) or the routine of work, it seems my life is smothered by endlessly repeating cycles of activities.

Granted, my work is often not routine, and even this week has been refreshingly chaotic, but through most of the year it tends to settle into a structured progression of tasks. While this is often for the best since I have to plan regularly scheduled weekly events and the routine of tasks throughout the week allows me to plan efficiently, it can begin to feel rather mundane.

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But I am still struck by how Max, who has an even stricter routine than my own, can not only refrain from being bored in it, but can even find joy.

Max has taught me that even in going to similar places at similar times to do similar things for similar reasons every day, he can still experience an exciting newness.

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And I think it is because Max is attuned to the details of dirt where exciting little things happen behind a thin veil of brown, boring mundaneness.

Max takes the time to really explore the nuances of his surroundings no matter how routinely he experiences them. And so Max is immersed in the exciting newness of the world – a newness that breaks into all structures.

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Max walks the same paths each day but seeks new ways to walk them, new smells to smell, new sights to see. He eats the same food everyday but, through what I believe is a high level of gratitude, encounters it with renewed appreciation and a joy for the life and satisfaction it brings him. And he plays in the same place with the same person each day, but finds new adventure in those moments and new ways to share and experience love.

So thank you Max for teaching me how to find newness in routine. Thank you for teaching me to be attuned to the details of dirt so that I might begin to transform my perception of the mundane to discover the exciting little bits of newness all around me.

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