I had found the best razor for me. I had blades that worked well. I had a shaving process that was optimized. My other gear and products were working well. It wasn't enough to vary my shave soap for different fragrances.
There were no challenges, nothing to try -- just day after day, a really good, economical, ecologically-responsible shave.
So I decided to shake things up. Despite my proven preference for my Merkur 33C classic razor, I returned to my open-comb Merkur 15C -- just for fun. I got a typically close shave, but slightly rougher on my skin.
Then yesterday I decided, for my next shave, to use my Gillette Tech (c.1948) with the same blade as in the previous shaves. This decision caused me to look forward to this morning's shave with great anticipation. I wondered if the shave would be as safe and as comfortable. I wondered if I would have to vary from my normal routine.
The answers were yes, the shave was close and comfortable; and no, my usual shave process worked wonderfully well.
Now the fact is that if I had a new blade in the Tech, it might have been a slightly different story. But for the time being, my change-of-pace shaves added much needed spice to a routine that had become.... well.... routine.
So the old aphorism really is true: variety IS the spice of life.