Monotony. Let’s shake things up a bit.

Monotony. Simply put, it means “lack of variety and interest; tedious repetition and routine.” We all suffer from monotony. We, for the most part, have our waking (and sleeping) lives plotted out where we can zoom through life on autopilot. We know when we will wake up (and how many alarms it will take). We know when we will eat and what we will eat. We know what our predictable work schedule will look like, what our exercise routine (or lack of one) will entail, and what same conversations we will have (“how was your evening/weekend?” or “how are you doing?” or any other similar variations of our trained social interactions/conversation starters and any one of many canned responses). Even when we are enjoying our leisure time, we are forced in greater monotony due to the algorithms that control our lives. In many respects, the algorithms that control what you watch, what you buy, or even what you see on the inter-webs will force you into greater monotony. Soon, your recommended (or, put another way, only visible) media all looks the same. Your “online life” becomes narrowed and, along with it, your perspective.

Don’t get me wrong. We all find comfort in our monotonous lives. Yet, unfortunately, we also let our monotonous life lead to us being bored, passionless, and dull. Boredom leads to stagnation of both our body and mind. So, occasionally, I try to do something seemingly insignificant to inject “different” into my life. For example, sometimes I purchase a variety pack of my favorite drink.

We all have our “favorite drink”. But, unfortunately, our favorite drink becomes our only drink. Whether it is coffee, tea, soda, or water, we have our “go to” beverage (and brand) choice. Soon, no other liquid will quench your thirst. You walk into any convenient store or grocery store and, with tunnel vision and no forethought, you reach for your coveted beverage. In fact, the only moment you realize there are different choices is when YOUR drink is nowhere to be seen. Panic quickly swells inside you as your eyes and hands guide their way on a fruitless, panicked hunt. Reaching behind and deep into the shelves or peering to the stock rooms behind, you seek that sweet nectar that keeps your life in balance. Alas, no reward. You have to begrudgingly settle for the “lesser” drinks. Defeated and distraught, you reach for the most analogous drink available and, with a tepid twist of the top, you gulp down the equivalent of liquid disappointment.

This disappointment, though, is an opportunity to safely explore life outside your comfort zone. I drink coffee (and a lot of coffee) every morning. Sure, I have my favorite brand. But, occasionally, I reach for a “variety pack” or “sampler pack.” Typically, these packs have 10 to 15 new and different kinds and flavors of coffee. Each new morning brings a certain level of comfort and excitement. I rank the ones I like. I scrunch my face to those that I don’t. A “different” cup of coffee seems so insignificant. But, the slight injection of “different” is exactly what we need sometimes.

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