A certain type of mindset thrives in routine. Perhaps you’ve noticed that these posts appear each day about the same time. This happens because the routine states that work comes next and it will be largely the same day after day after day. After work there’s also a pattern until I fall, exhausted, into bed. Hit repeat. In the midst of this routine change has crept. Partly it’s the pandemic, but mostly it’s technology. And spending habits. People don’t buy academic books like they used to. Overall books are booming—so much so that paper shortages aren’t uncommon. In order to try to keep up with electronic lifestyles, publishers have to integrate the newest technology and to do that everyone has to learn far more tech than technique. The pace of change is dizzying.
For those who thrive on routine, such rapid-fire alterations make it feel like we need a personal change manager. “How do I do this now?” The way we’d done it for years has suddenly shifted and it is only one of many moving parts. Meanwhile, outside work, other aspects are shifting even as many people still survive without computers at all. We’re left, those of us tied to routine, in a haze of uncertainty. It’s like that dream where you’re driving and you can’t slow down but you can’t see out the windshield either. To make it through we look for routine. I type this posts on a laptop. I prefer to write things out by hand, but there’s no time for that any more. The routine has been broken and the shop that repairs it has gone out of business.
Perhaps this is a malady of those of us who look to the past. Technological changes used to be measured in centuries, not seconds. Ancients thought a spout on a jar was a pretty rad invention. For a hundred years. Maybe two. Now if you don’t buy a new iPhone every couple of years you’re hopelessly outmoded. What was my routine again? I still awake at the same time and begin each day with writing. I’ve learned to do it via laptop. Then it’s to the work laptop where updates seem to be loaded daily and I’m the dog chasing that stick now. I wonder whose vision we’re following? Technology’s in charge now. The rest of us mere humans should be able to get along, as long as we establish a routine of routine change.