No, I’m not yet a senior citizen by most definitions of that term. I still get up and go to work every day, I lead a vigorous and varied lifestyle at work and away, and I’m nowhere close to “over the hill” or ready for pasture. But the sense of adventure and curiosity about parts of life I once longed to taste but didn’t have surely declined. In fact, many activities that I used to regard as boring and repetitive I now regard as comfortable and familiar. Likewise, activities I used to regard as exciting and adventurous I now regard as a waste of time.
Yes, I’ve grown comfortable in the well-worn lifestyle ruts of post-middle age . In fact, thinking about the meaning of rut in the present sense, I conclude that surely, the root of routine must be the same root for the word rut. I’m not sure, though.
In a former, more animated season of life, I’d run to consult the dictionary to confirm what I suspected about the etymology of those two words; but in this rutted, pre-retirement season, that curiosity is greatly diminished. What’s the difference, anyway, whether the words derive from the same Latin source? A rut’s a routine, and a routine’s a rut. Whatever their linguistic derivation, e’er will I cherish their sameness.