Imagine that I have recently moved to a new job in a new town and you ask me how I am settling in. If I were to tell you that I was getting into a rhythm, or, more likely, that I still needed to get into a rhythm but had not yet done so, you would probably know what I meant. Yet, if we stop to consider it, we find that what we mean when we refer to rhythm in this way is not at all clear. In this case, “getting into a rhythm” does not refer to an obviously rhythmic type of behavior like dancing. It does not refer to a given rhythm like that of a nursery rhyme or a piece of music with which I must synch up my behavior. Rather, I would be communicating something much more general, a way of approaching life that integrates routine and variation for maximum health, happiness, and productivity. But why do we express this idea through the concept of rhythm? And how do we all understand this idea even though we are only referring to something vaguely analogous to rhythmic entities like dances and nursery rhymes? What is this mysterious rhythm to which we supposedly have a relationship? And why is it so important to us?...
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