Taking time off for a vacation when you are single.

Taking Time Off

A routine can keep our life structured and moving forward, but at what point does a predictable pattern harden into a ruinous rut?

Taking time off for a vacation when you are single.
Olena Kachmar / 123RF Photo

Routines are a good thing. They make it easier to get things done, create a certain order in our lives and keep the planets in our universe spinning happily in orbit. Routines are a great way to be efficient and effective, but there’s just one problem: Given enough time, they harden into ruts. It’s not easy to see exactly when that happens. It’s a gradual process, but here are the symptoms: a refusal to engage in spontaneous activities, an overwhelming sense of responsibility and the realization that you haven’t laughed out loud in a very long time.

Luckily, there’s a cure. A vacation is probably the best rut-buster there is. The Italians block off the entire month of August to have a vacation. Whole cities shut down, and it’s impossible to stay in a rut because bustling towns are transformed into virtual ghost towns since everyone leaves for the seashore.

Such a plan seems crazy to most Americans and certainly for single people who are the sole wage earners in their households. Breaking away from work for two weeks seems perilous; 30 days would be downright crazy. Even when we know we desperately need a break, the realization that there will be additional effort at the front end and extra work to catch up on when we return, can cause endless vacation procrastination.

So why even try to have a vacation? Well, for me, once that routine hardens into a rut, my creativity starts to dry up, my disposition sours, my ideas wither and all those parts of me that make life enjoyable begin to disappear. I become like one of those tired ponies on the wheel at amusement park: plodding forward, dutifully fulfilling my tasks and wondering why I can’t think of a headline for a story.

Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, wrote about the importance of refilling the well. By that she means replenishing our spirit with new experiences, allowing our senses to take in new stimuli by breaking out of our everyday routine so we can experience fresh sights, sounds, smells, tastes. It may seem like a luxury but, really, it’s a necessity. Imagine the difference between a bubbling brook and a stagnant pond. Which would you rather drink from?

So whether it’s a spontaneous decision to go see a movie or taking the adventure trip of a lifetime, I’m going to allow myself to refill the well and make sure my routine doesn’t turn into a rut … well … just as soon as get through all the work that’s sitting on my desk …

Copyright © Kim Calvert/2016 Singular Communications, LLC.

Kim Calvert
Kim Calvert is the editor of 
Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.

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2 thoughts on “Taking Time Off

  1. Hmmm….guess I didn’t comment on taking time off…great blog and food for thought. My rut is not doing anything because it gets tiresome always looking for something to do to be out socializing. Just going to a movie is a thought as I sit here typing this instead of getting ready to attend a happy hour I was invited to. Otherwise, I could sit here feeling lonely.

  2. Everyone looks very young. Is this the right site for someone who at 75 always thought she’d be married with kids and grandkids….and it never happened. I’m young for my age, like to socialize, would love to meet a companion and still have lots to do in life. I’m a positive person, have had my share of loving relationships, just never walked down the aisle. I realize a life isn’t defined by marriage & kids, but am envious of friends (just about everyone has at least one child) who have experienced that ‘love you never expected’ and have a reason to keep on. I’ve done many things, including giving to others, counseling as a career, and so on. I’d love to connect with others who have experienced the same – maybe a community to positively connect and move forward without my mind slipping into the above musings. I’ve been considering a foundation to help those aging out of foster care so they aren’t left adrift. Or something. Hope someone can relate.

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