Have you ever found yourself halfway to work when you realize you meant to drive in the other direction? It is Saturday, after all.
There’s a scientific name for that. It’s called being in a boringus rutus.
The best cure? The Canis Domesticus.
Digging the rut
We all have routines. You probably wake up at the same time most mornings. Drink your coffee the same way. Your stomach clock goes off at the same time.
It’s especially easy to fall into a rut if your work requires you to show up at the same temperature-controlled place every day. If it’s pouring down rain, you work. If it’s sunny and beautiful, you work. If it’s snowing, you work (except for you folks who live in Maryland and Virginia who start closing everything down in a panic the instant a flurry appears on the horizon).
No wonder we fall into ruts.
Dogs like routine, not ruts
- Sure, your dog wants her dinner when you get home. But she wouldn’t turn you down if you decided to give her a between-meals snack.
- He’s gotta check his p-mail every single day. But if you decided to turn down a new block, your dog will happily walk by your side (or pull like a demon on the end of his leash—it’s all good).
- Your dog might decorate the front door with nose prints every afternoon you get home from work, but she won’t complain if you decide to take a mental health day.
- And dogs never mind being woken up to have fun, until they’re around a hundred years old. We gotta cut some slack to the grouchy puppies in our lives.
See the dog; be the dog
Can we learn how to practice routines without being in a rut?
I’m not sure what part of being a dog makes this possible. But here are a few ways to break up the ruts we fall into:
- Bark out the window at a squirrel.
- Howl when a fire truck goes by.
- Stick your head out the window when you drive to the store. Take deep breaths.
- Get very very very close to something you’re trying to smell.
- Scratch yourself with a blissful look on your face.
- Chase someone. Then let them chase you.
- Fall asleep in the middle of the bed. Make sure you sprawl out as much as possible.
At least one of those suggestions must be the key to being a dog of routine without being in a rut. After all, when was the last time you saw a dog stop in the middle of a walk and ask himself, “Now what am I doing here?”