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I am currently in Toronto, a completely new city to me. It’s groovy, and weird, and exciting at the same time. It’s random, and fun, and compelling.

It also fucked up all my routines.

Something about singing in the shower

“Sweet Things” by Star You Star Me. That’s the song I’ve listened to in the shower, every morning for the last six months. If you haven’t heard it, check it out:

It’s lovely.

When I was working at Muse Entertainment in Montreal, every morning started the same. You know, I had a morning routine, just like everyone else. I would wake up, and hit the snooze button once on my alarm. The second time around, I would haul my ass out of bed, and either grab something to read or my laptop. Sit on the can, do my business while reading The Authority or watching some fighting game match videos. Then a shower, shave, and teeth brushing. Go into my closet, pick out something appropriate to wear based on my mood, then pack my bag, and I’m off to work. Total time: 60 minutes.

Living in Toronto, and specifically on someone else’s living room couch for the first week, meant I had no personal space. When I got home, I dropped my bag on the floor, and had 3 people in my bedroom playing video games. My bed itself was someone else’s game zone until I needed to pass out. I fell asleep to the sounds of Street Fighter and Mad Catz sticks for five days, and it was both weird and fun at the same time. Thankfully, I can sleep through a rocketship battle, so the sound of videogames was like a gentle lullaby that rocked me into the Sandman’s land.

Anyway, no personal space also means no time to mess around. Sharing a bathroom also means no time to sing in the shower, and so my old habits were no longer applicable. I ended up getting out of bed as soon as the alarm rang. No time for snooze buttons, just ran to the can, then quick shower and shave. Grab whatever clothing is on top of the pile in my suitcase, and get the fuck out. Total time: 25 minutes.

Now why couldn’t I be that efficient when I was back home in Montreal?

Something about habits

The thing is, my routines are gone,
because the environment in which I used to do my familiar things is also gone. It’s funny, but a lot of what we do is tied to where we are.

If you’re used to coming home after work and watching TV, then when you walk into your apartment after work, you’ll probably instinctively walk towards your couch to get ready for some hot screen action.

If, on the other hand, your house is being fumigated, and you’re obliged to go somewhere else, chances are you won’t give a shit about the shows you were planning on vegging out in front of.

Think of it as a semi-Pavlovian response where we train ourselves: human goes home, human watches TV. Eventually, human sees home and has urge to watch TV. But if human has no home, human would rather play volleball instead. Or something like that.

Thus, we have routines. They’re often tied into places. So what?

Well… this is where the fun comes in. If every time I walk into my apartment, I think of TV, eventually I train myself to go watch it. If every time I walk into my apartment, I think of doing dishes, then VOILA! New routine, way healthier, and it quickly becomes my new instinct.

Something about being more efficient

Every couple of months, I go through an emotional change. It’s kinda cyclical, with 6 to 8 months being the approximate time period between changes. When the transformation happens, I do two things: first, I reorganize the furniture in my apartment, and second, I change my routines.

Funnily enough, I can’t actually do one without the other. It’s almost like if I want to change the way I act, I have to change where I live as well. I’ll usually move things around to make them more efficient, like putting the recycling bag right next to the sink, or turning my dining room table sideways to make more room for people to walk around.

I feel like the reason I do this is to cement my new persona. By changing my environment, old Rami doesn’t live here anymore. This is Rami 2.0’s domain, and he’s here to stay.

I bet you move stuff around your place whenever you go through a change. Maybe you do all your laundry, or move your flower pot. Feel free to share your freaky obsession with me (and the untold tens of people on the interwebs reading this blog)!

4 comments add your comment

  1. I’m confused. Are you in Toronto for good? I’ve been late for work – surprise, surprise! – so I don’t run into you at the cafe.

    Speaking of change, going through a huge and seemingly messy break up right now. Change is exhausting. Le. Sigh.

    • Heya! I’m in Toronto til December, working on a TV series. And messy or not, breakups suck 🙁

  2. I clean my room squeaky. I move my work desk someplace else in the room so I’m facing a different angle/side of the room. This is weird, but if I feel like I need to practice my ability to focus, I intensely clean my bathroom. 😐

    • LOL, a little OCD maybe? 😀

      Seriously though, keeping your room neat is a great quality to have. However, cleaning your room when there are other things that need to be done is a form of procrastination.

      Some people procrastinate by watching TV, others by doing small tasks that are less important than your major one (for example, wiping down your table when you should be going to the gym).

      By cleaning your room regularly, you give yourself an excuse to not do the other stuff. So next time you’re in that place, pause for a second and ask yourself one question: “is this task really necessary now? Or can it wait til I’m done with _____?”

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