Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Moving Stuff Around

Besides my little cup of coffee in the morning, I am not a creature of habit. If you want to bore me to death, make tomorrow exactly like it was yesterday. Even if yesterday was fabulous, I probably wouldn't have fun with it the second time around.

This tendency of mine came to me when I was very young. Once a month, my bedroom grew boring, so I'd spend an afternoon moving around every single piece of furniture, changing out the blanket for a different colored one, even switching around the clothing in my closet so that I could feel like my room was a "hotel." I especially liked it if my head faced a different way while sleeping, so that I could wake up to find myself not where I was used to being. 

I can't say I move furniture around still, but I move everything around. I'm fortunate to be a college instructor, so that every semester brings a new schedule, a new set of students, some new subject or textbook, or a new way to approach the subject matter. I was working on this semester's syllabi, and a friend asked me why I didn't just plug new dates into the old syllabus. That's when I realized I had never, not once, taught a class the same way the second time around. Every semester shows me ways something doesn't work so well, or ways it might work better with a different textbook, a new set of requirements, or some other major modification.

Maybe that's why I'm so happy. Two classes have ended, and while I face a mound of final papers to grade, and I'll miss many of the students, I still smile at the thought that this pattern is over. And I'm beginning a new set of classes--and several of the enrolled students have yet to check in--but the newness is exciting, especially since these are courses I haven't taught formally, complete with new textbooks, new students, and a completely new online teaching system?

It's not just teaching, either. I love restaurant dining--but I order something new off the menu whenever possible. More than the seasons, I love the change in the seasons, when leaves glow and fall to the ground, when plants spring out of frost, when days of rain are succeeded by days of sunshine--or snow. I can pretty much love any kind of weather, as long as it's different than it was yesterday.

Will I ever get tired of the new? I don't think so. 

How about you? Are you a creature of habit? Or does newness invigorate you like a fall chill, like the leaves changing?


  1. I'm kind of the opposite. I like a rut. When I find something that works, I don't like to change it. If it doesn't work, I'll change it in a heartbeat, but I'll stop as soon as I'm happy with it.

    When I go to restaurants, I try things until I give up on the restaurant or I find something I like on the menu. Then, that's what I order, every time. In fact, I often decide what restaurant I want to go to by what I feel like eating. If it's spaghetti, I go to one place, fettucine alfredo, someplace completely different, fajitas - this place, etc.

    In many ways, I'm dull, dull, dull.

  2. Amen Steph, that sounds just like myself... i hate change, unless it brings me more money.

  3. Boredom is sheer hell, if you ask me. I hate knowing what to expect from life as much as I hate repeated jokes, predictable movie endings, and mundane everyday conversations...

    Perhaps that is why I blog. At least then I get to talk to people about real things, instead of how long it took to rewire my garage, or how many poopy diapers my kid had today (these are favorite conversations of several of my acquaintances, male and female, respectively).

    I sure hope I don't go to hell. That's what it would be--boring. I'd have to eat the same thing every day, read the same bland books over and over, and people would walk in and have the same conversations with me, as if they hadn't done so the day before. (*shivers*)

  4. Just the fact that occurs when I wake up and answer the question "am I still breathing" in the affirmative means the day will hold some new thing to differentiate it from yesterday; when I also woke up breathing.

    The days start the same way, but soon enough the ponies are ready for running and the bets have to made as the day goes on.

  5. The thing is, *I* don't find it boring. I can read the same books or watch the same movies and recapture what appealed to me the first time. I like knowing things that make me happy every time.

    I do try out new things, here and there, but I like to tweak and improve what I think already has stood the test of time and proved itself with repeated outings.

    That doesn't mean you can't find that boring. I'm only speaking from my own perspective and, if you like fresh and new, more power to you. But I like to know where I am and always have a haven where I know I can go and still find happiness, even if I wander the world here and there.