Monday, January 6, 2014


Monday morning, gray skies and 5 degrees here in Cleveland.  Great day for staying under the covers and toying with the idea of calling in sick.  A fleeting thought because duty and necessity and even passion call.  Routine takes over, you're up, dressed, fed and on with your day.

But what if you stay under the covers?  For whatever reason, health or depression, or someone else is paying your bills ( thank you mom and dad) you do not have to follow a routine.  You have no agenda.  "A dream come true," you might say as you scrape ice off your windshield.  And for some people who own their own time, it really is.  They are able to fill their lives with meaningful activity, whatever it might be.  They are not drifting.  Drifting is overdosing on free time.  It is answering the siren call of escape.  And escape, unless you are a very hard drifter, is followed, if only momentarily, by the awful face to face with real life (your other, better self) and the dive back under the covers.

To get out of drifting one must, and who doesn't know this, get off the drug, whatever it is that is used for escape: Facebook, video games, sleep, alcohol, hard drugs, sex.  I'm not inclined to write about the "how to." There is a lot written and it's easy to find if you are so inclined.  But I will make one suggestion that can be a powerful motivator. Think back to a time in your life when you liked yourself.  When you had success, big or small, when you got up every morning, followed a routine, had a place to go, work to do, people in your life that admired and liked you. That self is not lost to you, it is only inactive.  Any day of the week, even on a cold Monday, you can choose to activate it, use your old talents, call up the self-discipline you once had, get a grip, get out of bed.  There is no free lunch and there is no free time.  It gets filled up with something.

To read more about how routine can serve your life see  "Dear Routine" in Lies, p. 22.

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