Embracing un-routine

With just days left before I close one door and open another, career-wise, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of change….particularly when it comes to routine, something I gravitate towards, crave, even.

With my new job will come some work travel, not a ton, but enough that it’ll get me out of my comfort zone a bit, and well, WAY out of my routine.

My normal response to lack of routine is to get anxious and annoyed that my nice little happy routine is flying out the door. But instead of going that route – and in the name of my no limits mantra for 2012 – I’m going to embrace un-routine.

…which is a huge about-face for me – a self-professed Type-A die hard and someone who loves structure and schedules and plans.

So what’s a girl to do when faced with un-routine? 

Well, you guessed it: I’m going to create an un-routine that will become my go-to when I’m traveling for work. So I’m kind of *still* being my usual Type A/plan-y self, but I’m doing it in a new place, with very few familiar faces, and no boundaries.

What I’m digging about this new job is that it’ll force me to go into uncomfortable situations and just go for it, as fearlessly as I can. So to me that means trying new things, avoiding reverting back to comfortable habits and meeting new people.

And, here are a few ways I plan to do just that, un-routine style:

Stick to my running ways, but in a different format – Maybe I’ll use the gym at the office in CA after I’m done with work for the day vs. hiding out at the gym at my hotel. Might be a great way to interact with my new co-workers in more casual environment, and it’ll give me a chance to try out what I hear are some pretty swank gym digs at that office! Plus, this coming year will be huge for me in terms of keeping up my run-durance, even when traveling. I’ll be in half marathon, and soon, marathon training mode and can’t let work travel interfere with that…at least as much as I can avoid it. So that may mean more treadmill running than I’d like, and maybe even exploring some running routes in a foreign (to me) city…which scares the pants off me…but, again – this is me embracing un-routine, right?

Explore the studios in the area – Sure, I can feed my barre obsession with Core Fusion DVDs in my room, or self-made barre n9ne workouts, but they don’t compare at ALL to the in-studio experience, let’s be honest. But why not explore a few area studios to see what they’re about? There’s a Pure Barre and Dailey Method studio nearby the office – I’ve never tried either…but when in Rome, right? Plus, it’ll give me an excuse to make dates at the barre with blog friend Naomi (the one familiar face I know I’ll see a lot of when I visit the area!!) – bonus!!

Put my food logging ways to the test – This will be a tough one for me. Work travel invariably means far less control over your food – but it can still be in my control if I plan for it. For the plane rides to/from – I’ll be packing lots of healthy snack options (think: 1 oz baggies of almonds, apples with packets of single-serve PB, homemade trail mix, etc.). For the hotel,  I’ll hit the grocery store once I’m settled for lots of water, fruit, quick breakfast options (I’m not usually a fan of protein bars but in this situation,  it works), etc. It would be a dream come true if the hotel room had a fridge in it so I could buy yogurt and stuff, but I’m not holding my breath on that one. Lunch and dinner will be more difficult to plan for, but again, not impossible. The office café will no doubt have a salad bar where I can create a healthy and yummy lunch and I’ve already google mapped my hotel to see how far Whole Foods and/or Trader Joes is, as an option for lunch or dinner too. 😉 And I’ll be damned, there will be one night per trip where I’ll order a glass of wine for the room – or even be a rebel and drink a glass all alone at the hotel bar…that would be a huge step for me, so this one may take baby steps.

Of course – I will do my best not to be antisocial when traveling to the office in Cali – if co-workers want to go out to dinner while I’m there, I won’t turn down the offer. I want to get to know these people as much as I can especially since much of our interaction when I’m remote will be on the phone or via email. But, there’s also something to be said for a quiet night in my hotel room with my homemade dinner from Whole Foods, a glass of wine, and my laptop for blogging fun, right?

And yes, all of these un-routine tips, tricks and ideas largely stem from what my sis has learned and experienced while she’s been at this work travel thing in a much bigger way than me this past year. She has some awesome tips I know I’ll be referring to OFTEN in the next few months. I hope she doesn’t mind. 😉

But all in all? Despite the lack of routine that comes with travel, I’m oddly really excited for this change of pace (aside from the sad goodbyes with Scott at the airport…I can’t help it, I love him so!!). I know I need this stage of “discomfort” to grow and change and evolve. And, given that this is my year of no limits, I may as well put it to the test as often as possible, in as many scenarios as possible. So this is me, hanging on for dear life, for what will be a wild ride, but one that I am more than ready for, embracing un-routine and all.

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39 thoughts on “Embracing un-routine

  1. I love this so much b/c you know I’m totally type A with you. And I love how you’re being type A by planning un-routine 😉 Maybe you can find some other runners in the area or find an awesome running trail. How cool would that be??!! Kind of jealous now 😉

    So excited for you my friend.

    • Haha I knew you’d giggle at my really lame attempt at being Type B – c’mon, did I *really* just create a whole plan around an “un-routine” for when I’m traveling for work?? That’s *still* a routine or a plan now isn’t it? But hell – whatever gets my head in the game and ready for big change, works for me, haha!

  2. Your unroutine is your new routine already! I think traveling wise, the hardest thing is eating healthy. BUT the plus is you are normal on business $ so you can splurge a bit. I think you’ll find things you love and don’t love so much about it, but it’s new and will be awesome to embrace the change.

    • Yes – you’re right, the eating part will be the hardest part for me but like you said, I can make it work as long as I stick to the realization that the change is good for me and the discomfort factor will lessen with time *and* I’ll be a better person for going through it. And maybe I’ll learn a few things along the way too 😉

  3. Welcome to the road warrior club 🙂 Sounds like you have a great plan already!!!

    2 other little tips – 1) download a white noise app to your phone. I personally HATE how quiet a hotel rooms are. Sometimes I’ll even sleep with the TV on. Fatigue is one of my biggest issues with travel. 2) Wear compression socks for the long haul flights. They make a huge difference & make running a ton easier the next day or even when you land.

    One of my travel goals for 2012 is to try more barre studios…it will be fun to compare and contrast.

    Just remember, since the days of travel are not the norm and don’t happen all the time, be kind to yourself. If you can’t keep up the normal pace…it will just make you more motivated to hit the pavement & barre when you get home 🙂

    • Oh and 1 other thing that always helps me on the road…packets of instant oatmeal. You can eat them anywhere…all you need is hot or boiling water (I use the coffee maker in the hotel room if I’m in a pinch).

      • Ohhh yes, I’m adding this to my list too! I eat that at work now in a pinch – usually make it plain with PB added in with banana. All totally portable too! (coffee maker — another genius tip, you are a rockstar!)

    • YAY! I was just waiting for you to chime in on this one!! I knew you’d have some GREAT ideas for me.

      I’m with you -whenever I have traveled for work, I sleep horribly and almost always have the TV on in the background for “company.” But maybe a white noise app will do the trick!

      I also need to add compression socks to my “must by” list for the marathon so I may as well buy them early so I can use them for travel, what a great idea, genius!!

      At the end of the day though, you’re right – I do have to be realistic and learn to lighten up if I can’t do it all while I’m on the road. It won’t be the end of the world if I miss a workout or two.

  4. You sneaky Type A-er. 😉 An un-routine routine is a great way to keep yourself on track, let alone sane.

    I hope everything goes smoothly in your transition, and with traveling…and I’m so excited for you and the changes you’re going to face. I love that you’re remembering that all of these changes will just be great experience. 🙂

    • I am SO sneaky – aren’t I? The second I hit “publish,” I even giggled to myself at the ridiculousness of the premise behind this post. As IF I’m not still being very Type A in how I’m approaching “un-routine” or something, huh? But you’re right – it’s my way of handling the change and in as best a way as I can I think/hope. Bring it on, baby!!

  5. I’m speechless, honestly (and we know that’s hard!). This is so… exciting, awesome, everything!

    I love that you’ve planned out snacks, meal options, meal ideas. I love that you know exactly how you’re going to get your workouts in. It allows you to have somewhat of a semblance of sanity while traveling, and while allowing for the occasional glass of wine or dinner and fun with coworkers.

    I’m hugely smiling over here for you my friend, 2012 is going to be YOUR year. Rock it out! XOXO

    • LOL I left you speechless?? How is that possible?! ;-P
      I am excited to put this little un-routine of mine to the test -in two weeks we’ll find out how well I can roll with the punches. It may not be perfect right out of the gate and I may complain a little bit about it here and there, but I’m hoping after a few trips out, I’ll find a good happy medium and will learn to have FUN with all of this change!

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