Inspiration Journal

Do I Have to Choose Between Routines and Rainbows?

Written by Betty Streff

I wonder if  anyone else is wrestling with this inner battle, conflicted in just what to think.

You see, I bristle and rebel against the idea of getting stuck in sameness and routine.  Hate it.  Do you? I get annoyed at people who are rigid and inflexible.  Slavery to a schedule has always bugged me and I am suffocated by same-old-same-old.  For me it feels like the first stages of becoming set in my ways and developing hardening of the attitudes.  I crave a life where every day is different- different people, different scenery and new challenges.

Yes, I know an orderly lifestyle is necessary with small children and it’s very helpful to senior citizens. There is security and comfort in routines and set schedules.  Good habits are extremely important.  I get it, really I do.

Oh, but how I cherish the idea of spontaneity, the freedom to pursue the road less traveled, and the time to watch a sunset, marvel at a rainbow or have a fascinating conversation with a complete stranger, all with no regard to looming deadlines or an overflowing to-do list.  It sounds so liberating!!

Here is where it gets really tricky.  Adulthood is too darn full of opposites.  We walk a tightrope every day, trying our hardest not to fall. Too much spontaneity can be as bad as too much routine.  No doubt about it.  So what is the answer?

I’ve always believed the most important thing we should strive for is a well-balanced life.  I  maintain it’s by far our most difficult assignment.  Perfect balance is really never achievable, at least not permanently because nothing ever stays the same.  Watch the guy on the high wire.  He is constantly adjusting his stance and his pole. But still, we must do our best to remain centered.

There’s no doubt that maintaining a routine and a schedule creates discipline in a person.  Disciplined, scheduled people achieve a lot and excel in life; that cannot be argued, it’s an air-tight formula. Still, my inner wild child hungers to explore, discover, learn and simply be awestruck by this amazing planet where we live.

(Confession).  I have developed just a few very small routines and I really do cherish them.  A certain breakfast beverage in a certain cup in a certain spot where I can watch the sun come up, reading a bit from a favorite book for the first few minutes upon awakening. I think I see where the “routine” crowd is coming from.  I admit, it’s sort of cozy and comforting.

So, I’ll try to walk the line and add more structure to my day, discipline myself a little more, stick closer to a schedule. Really I will.  But if there is a big, ripe-peach full moon or a double rainbow to see, you better believe I’ll be out the door checking it out with a stupid grin on my face.  And then, after my inner wild child has had a chance to wonder at it all, I’ll buckle down, adjust my pole and get back on the tightrope of adulthood.

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About the author

Betty Streff

Betty Streff began her career as a customer service representative for a large corporation in Omaha. Four years later she found herself to be a farm wife in a small rural community with limited opportunities for women. After a humbling self assessment, she listed her assets as talents for sketching, sewing, and the natural ability to strike up conversations with complete strangers. Using these and her optimistic nature, she began stitching up some bibs and pillows for a craft show, who wouldn’t?

Over the next 25 years she became a serial entrepreneur obsessed with studying faith, spirituality, leadership, motivation, and management as she developed her businesses. Betty has spent the last few years working in corporate America in the hospitality and manufacturing world and she continues to immerse herself in the study of what makes people tick.

The explosive growth in the relatively recent science of positive psychology fascinates her. Betty devours everything she can find on the subject and is especially intrigued with people who thrive no matter the circumstances and in discovering ways that happiness and optimism can be learned. She is currently exploring ways of sharing and cultivating the exciting possibilities with both individuals and businesses.

She and her husband Steve have been married 45 years and are blessed with 2 incredible daughters, 2 fantastic sons-in-law and 6 amazing grandchildren.

2 Comments

  • I always love reading your posts, Betty! I totally agree… I don’t want to be rigid and inflexible… but often am because of the three little dependables that I am currently occupying the majority of my time with:). I like the idea of some things being the way I do them for comfort but I desperately want to make sure I don’t lose a love of spontaneity simply due to circumstances. Good read!