The rhythm of our lives creates the music of our days. Hmmmmm. I’m wondering if I’ve heard that somewhere before or if I’ve reached a new understanding of life…an epiphany so to speak…or at least a deep thought worth contemplating. I came to this idea on my run a couple mornings ago. It was a beautiful sunrise and I was slogging (that’s a slow jog for those of you who aren’t “runners”), listening to some awesome music and thoroughly enjoying the time. So the music was the music and the rhythm of my life was one that I had been missing during these weeks of heavy travel for work.
I know that I am a person of routine. I like to know when I’m supposed to be somewhere. I have tendencies to wear the same type of clothes. I would go to bed and get up at the same time each day if life allowed it. My list of routines is long. Not that I don’t like spontaneity, it’s just that I like to know when it’s coming (that’s meant to be funny, people). Change is something I do because I have to. In a life of routine, the rhythm is predictable and in turn, comfortable. But, it can also lead to monotony.
John Alston is a motivational speaker whom I heard speak 20 or so years ago when I first started teaching high school. He was a great speaker and my take away from him was about routine and rhythm. He said, as he made a square stepping movement, “You get up, go to work, come home, go to bed. You get up, go to work, come home, go to bed.” And he continued this repetitive movement and monotonous chant for some time until I could feel the rhythm of a life of monotony. Then, all he did was alter the pace of his speech pattern and put some life into his step, changing not the words or motions, but the rhythm of the words as well as the bounce of his steps. His message? We all have routines in our lives, but it is the rhythm, the beat, the tenor that we put to the routine that creates the music of our days.
I have two distinct routines in my life. One is my routine at home and the other is the routine of traveling for work. While the pace of each of these routines is dramatically different, they are still just routines. I get up, I go to work, I come home (aka my hotel room when I’m on the road) and go to bed. It is always my challenge to maintain the rhythm of my life to intentionally create the music of my day. Whether it is after a few hours sleep or a full eight hours, whether it is after being in front of 85 people at a conference or showing up for the six folks in our office, whether it is a time zone that my body’s not used to or one that I’ve lived in most of my life, the rhythm is in me, not outside of me. What is outside of me is merely a pace, the rate of movement , not the rhythm. Just like with the heart, the pace can change, but as long as there is always a beat, a rhythm, I am still alive.
It is in my heart, my body and my mind and it creates the rhythm, the music, of my day. Life is essentially one long routine from a big picture’s perspective, but within the routine, what song do I want to create and hear through my day? Within the steps of my routine how much bounce do I bring? I am my own instrument, band, orchestra for the days of my life. Today, my song? “Anything is Possible”, by Jonny Lang. There’s no video, just lyrics and the song; still, check it out. It’ll make you smile.