Welcome to my digital writing journal, or mydigitalclutter. What started as a family blog almost two years ago has morphed into my writing therapy. This is where I do a lot of free writing, mostly about my life with my family and the things that catch my interest. While nowhere even close to perfect, in each post I like to see how my writing is changing with time and practice. Most posts are left unedited for this reason, so if you don't mind, take the journey with me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Change and the Bathroom Stall

We are creatures of habit and comfort.  It all began so long ago when your favorite blanket was in the wash and your mother handed you a substitute.  It didnĂ­t go over very well.  It wasn't the same, and so you weren't satisfied.  Thus began the path of abhorrence to change.

When I was in college, I had an English instructor that had us do an exercise to purposely change up something in our lives.  She talked about how we would always go to the same bathroom stall in a building, because it was comfortable.  She challenged us to go into a different one to see how we felt.  At the time, it seemed like an exercise in futility, as I had never noticed if I frequented one stall over another in the ancient building.

I don't remember the writing assignment that followed, but for some very odd reason, I remember always using the second stall to the left when I was in that building.  Every. Single. Time.  It was as if, by sheer mention of it, I suddenly became aware of a habit that I didn't know I had.  It was comical, as I tried to use a different stall.  It seemed wrong, almost as if I were cheating on the one that I had used up to that point.

Why all this talk of public restrooms?  Last week at work we had a speaker come for a customer service seminar.  In our discussion, she talked about change and how change can throw us all for a loop, but it is essential to change our perspective of how things really are.  She drove to work once, and didn't remember the drive.  At. All.  Scary to think of it that way!  She was terrified to think of relying on muscle memory to get her to her destination.  She drove home a different way, to change things up, and make herself be aware of her surroundings.  She looked at things with a different perspective.  It brought to mind the public restroom experiment I had participated in while attending college.  Did she feel as though she cheated on her normal route?  Probably at first, but the sheer essence of change of habit caused her to view things around her in a new way.

I thought of this again today, as I walked to the restroom in my building.  I seem to always favor the first stall, though the second one will do if the first one is occupied.  How did I become so complacent?  I think it's time to change things up.  After all, I don't think I've cheated on my bathroom stall for a while.

*Thanks to Google for the image*
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