Joy in Repetition

While visiting some friends, I found the majority of my time spent playing games with their three year-old daughter. It amazed me how she wanted me to repeat the same game over and over and over again. Each repetition brought about more joy to her than the previous. Where does that thrill in repetition come from? Is it something that adulthood quietly erodes from our youthful selves? Or does it exist within smaller pockets of our lives, quietly evading jaded outlooks?

I noticed such a pocket in my life recently where this rejuvenated joy in repetition existed — taking tasks that I normally do at my cloud engineer gig and doing them within my personal AWS account. These tasks, like adding additional IAM users & roles along with MFA, didn't feel like drudgery. Rather, it felt like I was taking skills I learned at work and bringing them into my personal life, to better work on projects I care about.

Repetition happened across contexts — a couple times in work and then off the clock. That context shift allowed the repetition to take on new meaning. I'm sure it could happen the other way around as well — repeating something from a personal project in a work project. Perhaps that context shift is but one of many places where that thrill in repetition comes from. I'm hungry to find more.