So, this one song I’ve
heard goes: “It’s always better on holiday. That’s why we
only work when we need the money.” And I was thinking, how
true is this? I’ve always been tossed reprimands like “Idle
hands are the devil’s workshop” and proverbs like “Early to
bed, early to rise.” Things that generally indicate that a
routine is best.
I wonder about this sometimes, and I ultimately pretty
much decide that a contrast of the two is necessary for any
sort of an analysis on what people end up preferring. And at
no point is the contrast more stark and palpable than now,
when bleary eyed students return to school reluctantly and
settle back into the well-burrowed niche of their humdrum
Images of holiday are still comfortingly fresh in our
minds. Cozy dinners, outings with friends, sleeping in,
staying up, lolling around, etc. Just generally a disruption
of that almost religiously followed routine, like a swagger
in our neat, horizontally lined agendas, once peppered with
appointments and classes, and now blank as marble. Free, in
fact, to be dotted and adorned with festive new pen colors
and ideas. Oh, the holidays!
But how long does this last? Like a fading glimmer of a
star in the sky, the charm of the holidays eventually wears
off. In fact, even the holidays fall into a routine. While
you once relied faithfully on variation to characterize your
holidays, now activities are more same in their futility.
So, eventually, the holidays become a mass of idle, sleepy
days that stroll by slowly. The lack of purpose of
everything becomes more and more evident, that need, that
essential human need for a purpose, some defining goal,
burns in all of us.
Of course, the zest of a just-returned-to routine is
quite rejuvenating, too. People enjoy that things have a
convenient allotment of time. The feelings of safety, of
expectation, of warmth, start to enshrine them and make them
feel more invigorated. After all, history has proven that
people feel safer if they can rely on some pillar, some
guiding precept or notion. The repetitive routine is the
ideal framework for the development of some steady school of
thought to rely on.
But then, again, who can doubt that the routine gets
boring? Vacations start to sound so much more appealing, and
people, frustrated, start to chunk their well-planned, very
possibly color-coded agendas out of the window, only to get
up five minutes later and dutifully retrieve it.
This frustration, this lack of clear preference between
the holidays and the routine elicits a greater core human
frustration: the wavering between settling and going wild.
The hesitance between stepping out of that precious comfort
zone and staying safely within boundaries in every sense.
It’s the titanic monster people encounter in themselves when
they’re forging personalities – deciding between “safe” and
But, ultimately, holiday cannot be valued without the
contrast of a mundane routine. And the rigidity of the
purposeful routine cannot be appreciated without the
lingering emotions of idleness coloring the senses.
So, the two ideas are really pretty inextricable,
engendering this paradoxical truth: settling is needed for
worthy adventure, and adventure is needed to settle back