This could be you if you happen to be driving on the outskirts of Toowoomba in 1925. Image courtesy of the State Library of Queensland via Wikimedia.

There are a lot of people running around loose these days who see themselves as being trapped in a rut and they don’t know how they got there. Since these rut-dwellers are unable to export their wisdom to others, who might be seeking a comfortable and properly irritating rut for themselves, I draw on my own experience from years and years ago when for a time I was quite skilled at building ruts myself.

You can’t create a rut out of nothing. You need material to work with and you need somewhere to start. There might be other ways, but the easiest is to start with a routine.

Once you’ve got a healthy routine, or a handful of them, you can get serious about creating a rut. The best way to do this is to develop an attitude.

I knew a woman a long time ago who approached the routine of washing a sinkful of dirty dishes with a huge sigh and a mournful, “Ahhhhh, life!” in a descending scale of misery. That’s a good example of utilizing a proper attitude, practiced hundreds of times over, to build a substantial rut from a simple routine.

In another case, a retiree spent all day every day, and all evening, watching TV, switching channels and location, from one reclining chair to another, and back again, and back again, and back again … After about a year his life fizzled out, pfffft, like a Roman candle. You have to admit a rut like that one truly approaches Hall of Fame status.

A universal truth is that no matter how many routines you have you can only make one rut at a time. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just building ruts in the air, and will not be able to get down into the muck of a serious rut without a huge change in Attitude. You can’t have even two ruts because two ruts is getting way, way too close to variety.

In the midst of a routine we might think of how difficult it is, and how beneath us it is, to do a menial task. I mean, how can you expect me, me, to do this? This is a sure-fire attitude for beginning to erect, or rather de-rect, a rut.

The grass is always greener. Image Copyright Evelyn Simak and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence (BY-SA 2.0).

Some essential attitudes include complaining, lethargy, resistance, and of course, Attitude itself. Twist your sense of discovery to wring out many, many more alternatives.

Doubters will of course question, Why build a rut in the first place?

Listen, if we can build a rut then we’ve got a reason to live Life itself. We’ve got a purpose: To get out of this Rut.

Why do we want to get out of the Rut? Because we know, absolutely and completely and for sure, that the Grass is Always Greener, which gives us the opportunity to build a brand-new rut. The Grass is Greener part only applies to folks whose rut isn’t so deep that they can’t look over the edge to see the grass.

If we’re really in a rut and we want to get out of it, we can do so easily with one simple action, a change of attitude.