I used to joke that writing for a daily newspaper was like drafting a news story over and over and over: the names, dates, and places may have changed, but very often the narrative stayed the same. It could be very formulaic, and try as I might to shift things, to make the tale more engaging, etc., sometimes it just felt like a routine.

Routines have been on my mind lately, prompted by an observation during my morning commute. Everyday, as the shuttle pulls away from the apartment complex on its way to the Metro station, the gal who sits across the row from me (how’s that for routine) works to attach a bracelet to her left wrist.

She’s getting better.

It used to take her almost 3/4 of a mile to work the clasps. Nowadays, she has it on within a half-mile, tops.  I guess that’s one of the perks of routine: practice makes perfect and what not.

The commute, for me, is a strange routine. I just changed jobs, and, considering the size of D.C., it amazes me that the new job is like 5 blocks from the old one.  I used to be two blocks east of my sister’s office. Now, I’m three blocks west. I switch trains now on the Metro (I used to stay on the Yellow Line the entire trip, now I need to hop on the Red line), but I don’t have a 4 block walk from the station to the office. Now, I walk one block. Overall, however, I’m still leaving at the same time every morning, and I still get home at the same time each night, mostly via the same route I took a month ago.

It’s interesting to settle into a routine—to become accustomed to a daily occurrence, to expect things to play out a certain way. My routine is very different than I envisioned when I moved to D.C. Some differences are great and welcome (I cook more often than I expected) while others are not. Such is the way of life, I guess.

I’ve fallen out of the routine of blogging. So much of my work (OK, yes, 100%) is focused on politics, and I’m in an office filled with people who talk about the latest news and events. Maybe I don’t have the need for this outlet anymore. I don’t know.

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