Tuesday, October 2

Day 276: Shake Things Up

Most people follow a certain pattern when it comes to commuting back and forth to work, the grocery store, school or wherever it is they may wander to. Most of us take the shortest route or perhaps the most scenic route. But how many times do we decide to take a completely different route altogether? Regardless of the time it takes or how we think it will look? When we first moved to Stockholm I enrolled in a class and started studying Swedish. It was the middle of winter and quite a cold and snowy one at that. Every day was an adventure when I left the warmth and comfort of our apartment. And it was dark. I took the subway to and from class in the mornings and tried my best to avoid taking the train in the wrong direction or getting off at the wrong stops. It happened more than once that I did both. But anyway, one day I decided that if it was sunny out when my class was over, I was going to walk at least part if not all of the way home. Guess what? It was sunny of course. But even with the sun shining it was blisteringly cold out. I nearly froze to death despite the fact that I was wearing a scarf, hat and my new winter coat. An arctic down duffle especially bought for the move, which was more like a sleeping bag really. It attracted lots of strange looks and even a few laughs on occasion but mostly it kept me warm and I ignored the laughs and stares. And if I found myself getting too cold while I was outside I would just step into the next interesting store I saw to warm up a bit. 

It became my new thing, to walk home from class if the weather was "nice." Each day I would choose a different route to walk and each day I would discover some new unknown treasure. It was a wonderful way to get to know Stockholm and I still find myself taking walks off the beaten path. But even before I moved to Stockholm I picked up the habit of taking different routes on occasion to shake things up. When I lived in Los Angeles, California many moons ago I remember reading a book in which the author suggested changing things up by driving a different route to or from a familiar destination. The first time I did it was a bit scary. I mean, I lived in LA and it could be scary to find yourself in unknown territory. But I quickly got over that and learned that a simple change in my scenery often helped me to change my perspective as well. It is always invigorating to visit a new city or place when you are seeing it with new eyes for the first time. 

There is no reason to not do that in the cities where we live as well. Surely there is still something new to explore or experience, right? Since I have been riding my bike to and from work I have figured out several different routes that I can take depending on my mood or the time at hand. One is the longer, scenic route when I have all the time in the world, one is the scenic but I'm in a hurry route when I have some time but probably should focus and get to work and one is the dude I'm in a hurry and need to get to work in fifteen minutes route, when I just didn't get up early enough or get ready fast enough. I think it's time for a change so tomorrow I am going to take a different route and see where it takes me. What about you? Will you join me in taking a new route to or from your normal destinations? Maybe explore a new little pocket of town and discover a hidden treasure? I invite you to join me and shake things up a bit. Even if it is as simple as going out your back door instead of your front door when you leave the house, or parking on the other side of the parking lot from where you normally park. Do one thing completely different from what you normally do or go all out and completely turn your world upside down.

Like my photo below... 

Someone turned my Texas cut-out upside down. Kind of an interesting perspective, don't you think? 
It sort of looks like a bird this way.

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