Monday, June 7, 2010

Utilizing Patterns

I like patterns. I use them every day, compulsively, and I enjoy this sometimes. I do many things in the form of patterns, from deciding how many things to get during a store trip, to how long my lunch breaks will be over the course of a week, to the amount of sets between free weights and machines at the gym, even to what days I should write these entries.

Take work as an example. I sometimes think about what times I enter and the length I work more than I should, though not necessarily more than the actual work. I will say to myself that I'm coming into the office at 8:15 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday simply because I haven't gone into work at the same time on those three days in a few weeks. This is on top of telling myself exactly how many hours I will work. After working a long week (45), and one less long (41.5), I may tell myself I want to work 44 hours because I haven't worked enough hours that ends in an even number. Ridiculous, yes, but not easy for me to personally break away.

Or there's even some of the records that I have by artists. I love music, of course, but sometimes I force myself to either like or not like an album this way I can own the 1st and 3rd album by the artist, coming up with a quasi-reasonable explanation as to why that second album isn't that great. I do this because I already have a combination of the three albums. Or there's a need to own a max of two 5-CD comps and two 6-CD comps at one time, which I thankfully abandoned.

My personal conclusion about my frequent need to do things according to a pattern is that it relates to my frequent need to do things according to a routine. They are generally synonymous, but I use them differently. I feel like these patterns are a way to use combinations to break from the monotony that comes with routine. It allows me to tinker with my own schedules and give myself the control over parts of my life that I usually can control. The need for patterns comes out of the need for systems, but the patterns are a forced variety. I don't want to compare it to something like affirmative action, but it's similar in that I have quotas I set myself up to have just because of the matchups.

The desire and need for patterns has tied into my recognition of patterns in daily life. For instance, when I was a child I knew which movie theatres in the area could not show the same movies out of reading the movie listings compulsively every week. For instance, General Cinema Northeast and the AMC Orleans could never show the same flicks due to the close proximity. In a way, it's a blessing because I did well in school with this ability. However, it could also be an annoyance for those around me.

Patterns are just something I find rather cool, and I have reasons for using these often. I'm not sure what other way to put it.

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