DeanDo you ever realize how caught up we get in our routines? We get so used to doing things exactly the same way, at the same time, every day, every week, every month and every moment. That’s not a bad thing. We become quite efficient at what we do. However, the consequences appear when the routine is disrupted.

For me, the most recent disruption was family members suddenly appearing in my house.

To be completely fair, I suppose they didn’t just appear, although it may seem that way to me. I suppose I technically invited them myself when I sent out graduation announcements. I didn’t quite think it all the way through, however. If I had, I would’ve come to the conclusion that some of them would be staying in the same house that I dwell in.

Now, let me set the record straight. I love my family. And I love when they come to visit, and I love spending time with them. I do not love the jolt I receive every morning when I walk downstairs and there’s someone sitting at the table or someone is already in my bathroom. That part is not so fun.

Switching from being one of three people in my house to being one of 11 or 12 is quite a change. I am not the only cause of noise. I am not the only one who wants to tell a story. When a herd stampedes, I should know that I might get trampled.

Ladies and gentlemen, sharing at its finest, and possibly at its most vast. I don’t regularly have to coordinate or share with 10 or more other people. Let me tell you — it is a lot of work.

Sometimes, once my family leaves, I forget the challenges that arise when they come. But I assure you, I am reminded all too harshly when they come again.

Remember, I set the record straight. I love my family. And when they visit, it’s always fun. The problem is that everyone’s routines are disrupted all at the same time. So I’m not the only frazzled, confused and challenged person in the house. Everyone is trying to figure out new routines that, in the end, will be only temporary. So by the time the new routines are set and everyone has adjusted, the herd is off again, back to their old routines that are almost as strange and foreign to them as the unknown patterns that awaited them at my house not a week before.

That’s the danger of routines. They can’t go with you. Routines don’t travel. New patterns must be created and set at every new place and with every new person. Routines belong to the individual and must change alongside him or her. With each new addition, surrounding or environment, the routine adapts and shifts.

Humans, as creatures of habit, aren’t the best at accepting this. Some are better than others, and I’ll be the first to admit that I am one of those not-so-good humans. But adapting and shifting is good for me. It loosens me up and makes me more flexible at changing my routines.

It helps me control my routine, instead of my routine controlling me. And so, let the herd come.

Perrin Dean graduated from Wilsonville High School June 5. She served as a student columnist for the Spokesman during her senior year.

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