It’s the simple things, you know? Making lunch. The simple, personal rewards we kinda look forward to that make us happy. But how does it feel to make lunch if you weren’t looking forward to it? I mean, if you were just sitting around waiting to make lunch that lunch might not be as rewarding than if you were busy all morning, accomplishing things, and then took a break to make lunch. You follow me?
Thomas Edison is quoted as saying, “There is no substitute for hard work.” And Voltaire is quoted as saying, “The biggest reward for a thing well done is to have done it.”
Yeah, but then we can still have lunch! This veers slightly off topic, but one of my favorite quotes is this from biologist —Dr. James Watson:
I don’t think we’re here for anything, we’re just products of evolution. You can say ‘Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don’t think there’s a purpose’ but I’m anticipating a good lunch.
I like making lunch.
I don’t do it everyday, but there is something to be said for routine. A routine gives us a regular schedule of things we can look forward to.
Typically we look forward to things we enjoy, so it stands to reason that our routines also include periods of work; chores or tasks we must do to earn a living or keep the house and our lives in order. Face it, what the hell have we got to look forward to if we do nothing with our time?
During our routine, on a daily level, we look forward to lunch after cranking on stuff for the first half of the work day. The second half of the day we keep busy until it’s time to head home. On a weekly level we might look forward to happy hour on Friday, or make plans for dinner out with friends.
Idle hands are the Devil’s tools…
The things we look forward to are like bonuses for a job well done, an earned reward. In order to reap these simple bonuses in life we must be productive. Sit around like a lump and you’ll have nothing to look forward to, except maybe getting off your ass to go sit somewhere else.
I don’t believe in the Devil, but I do believe that a busy mind, and the connected busy hands, are more likely to keep themselves out of trouble and less likely to get caught up in petty dramas and nonsense. There’s also more potential for success for the busy person.
My father has a routine, even in his retired years he has a routine, and he looks forward to making his lunch, at a specific time. My parents are, even in their retirement, busy, productive people, reaping the rewards of productive professional lives, and now reaping the rewards of retirement. They diligently pursue their daily routines and looking forward to those little things that make them happy.
Flying by the ass of your pants, as I’ve heard it said, being spontaneous, can have its rewards but I find that there is a kind of security in routine. Use a routine to stay on track and let the spontaneity occur as a bonus.
We kinda need a plan. A completely spontaneous life would have no bounds, no control. A graceful, routine flight, with some fun, can seem boundless. Just watch the birds play, between nest building…