Getting Out of the Routine Funk

I realized I neither wanted a small spark nor to become dependent on "getting away" for my re-energizing.

by Deedra Abboud in Mindset, Solutions
August 3, 2016 0 comments

Lately, I have been feeling somewhat bored – like my life has become routine. I fully admit my life is anything but routine by the standards of others, but for me, it has felt that way.

After I get up in the morning, I have breakfast and coffee with my husband. Then I spend the day working on legal cases for clients, talking to clients (legal and non-legal), researching, blogging, writing my book, tweeting, and checking out Facebook.

By 4pm I am cooking dinner because we like to eat around 5pm.

In the evenings, after cleaning up after dinner, I pay bills, and usually go back to computer work – cases, research, writing, etc. – or read a book.

Occasionally, we go out to eat or to the movies, maybe even visit friends together or separately. Sometimes I break things up by reorganizing something in my house – I have an obsession with small baskets and everything having its place, everything separated by type and located for convenience. Absolutely no junk drawers in my house.

Still, I have felt the excitement waning. I get up with slightly less “pep in my step” than usual and don’t have to convince myself to put what I’m doing aside to go to bed at night.

Initially, I thought maybe I needed a trip or new experience. My husband and I love to travel and I often think of new experiences for us to do together – like skydiving a few years ago.

But I realized I neither wanted a small spark nor to become dependent on “getting away” for my re-energizing.

Then I began focusing on books and videos about “becoming unstuck.” Mostly they talk about finding your passion and setting life goals.

They are always great topics, always with some new tidbit to consider – but I know my passions, have set my life goals, and regularly take the steps toward those goals.

So I started thinking of the small goals or projects I could create to bring back my excitement. Projects always get me excited – even smalls ones.

At first, I could not really think of anything I wanted to do beyond what I am currently doing.

So I decided to make a list of unique skills I already have.

  1. I can speed read – when I was tested over 20 years ago, I could read and comprehend 400 words per minute. I assume that skill has increased considering I have continued to read regularly since that time.
  2. I read at least four books per month. Often I read more than that. Not all the books are new. I re-read Men Are From Mars; Women Are From Venus at least every one or two years because I believe it is one of the most useful books for understanding how men and women think differently, which is extraordinary for better communication. As my marriage has always been and continues to be my absolute number one priority, I regularly read and experiment on strengthening the relationship with my husband.
  3. I love to organize. The greatest peace in my life is that I always know where everything is and very rarely have to spend time searching for what I want in my home. Everything having a place also reduces clutter, which is a massive emotional stressor.
  4. I know how to drive a stick-shift. A friend of mine had attempted to teach me when I was in high school but I could never get it. When I was in my early twenties, I needed to go to work and the only car available was a standard. Not going to work was not an option, so I got in and started driving. First gear was my problem. I often stalled. Once I got going I was fine. I prayed the whole way I could get lucky with the red lights so I wouldn’t have to stop. Eventually, I felt I had the hang of it and was feeling pretty good, but I had forgotten there was a red light on my way – on a big hill. Of course, I got stopped on the hill. I was so afraid I would roll back on the car behind me. I almost panicked and wanted to just cry. Should I put on the emergency brake and inform the driver behind me of the possibility? Finally, I just set my mind to it, and, for the first time, actually moved forward without rolling back or stalling. I was elated! I could now drive a standard!

I never really thought much about the skill again until I got married. My husband bought a stick-shift truck. He made a joke about me not being able to drive his truck because it was a standard. I said, “I can drive a standard.” He was clearly shocked. For whatever reason, he thoughts girls did not know how to drive a stick-shift. I suddenly felt very proud of that skill.

Remembering that story was gold for my current dilemma. I needed to learn new skills. I am always learning new communication and self-growth skills, but that’s really updating current skills.

I need challenges. Completely new skills, not just building on what I already know or can do.

I made a plan that I would learn something new at least three times per year.

But what new skills? What do I wish I knew how to do?

Nothing immediately came to mind.

Motorcycle License

Then I remembered last year my husband expressed an interest in getting his motorcycle license. I had looked up driving schools that teach and give the test for him. He travels for business a lot so he has yet to get around to doing the classes.

I have never really had an interest in driving a motorcycle. My aunt drove motorcycles when I was young and I often rode with her. I even had a moped/scooter when I was young but it was an automatic. Learning how to drive a motorcycle myself had never really entered my mind.

I could see where I would enjoy having this skill just like driving a standard. Maybe I don’t need it, but if I ever do, I will have it. It would also make for some great conversations too – like the skydiving does.


I told my husband I want to take the motorcycle driving school classes and the licensing test before the end of 2016. Hopefully, we can do it together.

One goal set.


Then a friend came over to visit. She mentioned she wanted to take kickboxing classes. She had been thinking about a gym near her home that is offering a free week of lessons. As she talked about it, I thought of that as yet another skill that could be useful. I told her I would take the classes with her in August.

Second goal set.

I only have five months left of 2016 and I want to go all in for my big goal of three new skills per year. So one more goal to set.

Just to recap, in addition to my current goal of publishing my book, I have added kickboxing, motorcycle license, and for the third one … we’ll see…

I am feeling motivated and excited already.

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