There’s a very fine line between a groove and a rut; a fine line between eccentrics and people who are just plain nuts. ~Christine Lavin

Yesterday we moved Kaitlyn into her apartment.  She is an amazing person, and I am looking forward to watching her continue to grow over her sophomore year.  Because she is important to me, I rearranged my day to help. This took me out of my normal routine, and I found it refreshing. It was a simple reminder, a new perspective, on what is paramount and the things that I just do because they need to get done. One could say I was in a rut, but I would personally prefer to be in a groove.

As Christine’s statement above indicates, there can be a very fine line between a rut and a groove. There are many days I come into the office, work for hours, and not much seems to get done. Sure I put out a couple of fires, cleaned up a mess or two, but what got done? There are days I read literature, analyze data, look at my research and just fumble around. There are days when I hang out with my family…you see the trend. Then there are days where things are a bit off kilter, like yesterday, and something meaningful happens.

So, what’s the difference between a groove and a rut? Some might say it has to do with length, or it has to do with positive or negative. I think there’s truth in both. The commonality is that they are instances where things just sort of happen. The groove is perceived as positive because we are focusing on something that is important to us. We are doing something that is meaningful for us. We are present. Whereas, in a rut, things are happening to us. We are doing things just because that’s what we do. We aren’t present.

When you find yourself in a rut, change something up. Stop and refocus on someone or something that is really important to you. Do something different. Sometimes a simple change can have a profound impact. For me, a simple change in my day, focusing on someone important, helped me out of a rut. I know it’s not always that simple, but being aware and making a change is a step in the right direction.

All the best!

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