The post in which I get a little heady with you...

Today for the first time I encountered the New Jersey Transit situation (by which I mean got confused by words like "Seacaucus" and "Newark Penn Station"); I was headed up north to the Shiva I mentioned the other day. As I left the office, I walked a different route to a subway that I never take and the whole experience was, to put it briefly, new.

So I'm sitting there in the subway on my way to Penn Station, and I started thinking that if I wasn't going this new route today, there wouldn't necessarily be anything memorable about the day (barring the obvious evening's activities). I went to work, had pizza at lunch, asked a bunch of tech questions and understood a few of the answers. But by changing my routine, I was in the process of creating a memory of the day. Even if I don't remember the details, I'll remember what NJ Transit is like and what it means to take the E train to Penn Station.

So if routine assures non-memory (I won't say forgetting because I mean something more like 'un-remarking'), is an great memory more often available to a person who has lots of new experiences? If your everyday routine is unremarkable, you can imagine entire years passing in a snap. But perhaps we can slow down time (or the impression of time) by pelting it with new routes home and different food and conversations with strangers who mark the experience and render it memorable?


1 comment:

Erica said...

a few thoughts while I wait for iTunes to update my entire library ...

i have to agree with your observation. Routine makes you pay less attention to the small things. Wake up, shower, eat, go to work, come home, watch tv, go to bed, REPEAT. Because you know what to expect, you don't pay attention to the little details that make life great, and the days just pass you by.

Even living in France, I've fallen into a routine, which means that I don't pay as much attention to the fabulousness that is life. It takes a change to those daily rituals for me to realize that, hey, life is actually pretty great !

anyone can become more aware of their own life by forcing themselves to break that routine. Dare to do something different, whether it's talking to a stranger at a bar or planning a day-trip to a new place.