Thursday, February 9, 2012

Creatures of Habit

I have become a creature of habit.  The older I get, the more I enjoy my routines, and the more I need my routines.  This was not always so.  In younger days I don't think I had so many habits, or at least I didn't see their value.

Today is Monday, and Sunday night I got out a clean shirt, socks and pair of pants and put all of my needed paraphernalia into the pockets, checked that my cell phone was charged, and that I had all of my knives and flashlight.  I put them all into a neat pile in the living room so that I would leave the bedroom to dress as this is the schedule.  It didn't matter that Annie was going to go the Asphalt Jungle to be a beta tester for free motion sewing equipment, and that she would be leaving about the same time..... I put my clothes there every day, and in the morning, when only two or three neurons are firing, and I weigh 856 lbs, and everything hurts, well, I don't have to think too hard.

Breakfast has come to be two hard boiled eggs, maybe with a dab of mayo-mustard sauce, and 8 oz of milk with a little whey powder in it.  Usually.  It is quick, neat, and keeps me going most of the morning.  Lunch is a sandwich and soup.  Almost always.  Not too much thinking has to go into this.  The sandwich is almost always ham, occasionally chicken, the soup almost always chicken, but some times vegetable.  I make soup when we have chicken and store it in the fridge in quart jars.  I add one packet of Knox unflavored gelatin and it sets up like jello and keeps for two weeks.  Cheap, tastes good every day and I know about how many calories I'm eating.

This winter, after years of being half-mad at the frost on the windows of the car, I came up with a new habit, a new routine.  It's so simple, and I'm so dumb for not doing it years before.  Just put on boots earlier than usual, and start the car 10 minutes before you want to go.  Then your breath doesn't freeze on the inside of the glass and your patience isn't tried as you don't swear at the slightly off sized replacement heater core that you put in 5 years earlier, and that messed up the airflow to the defrosters.  So simple.  Maybe it's just that most of my neurons are not working so well, and when a few do get together and cooperate, I have to declare victory and enshrine the answer to the vexing problem as a new habit.

While I was contemplating these protective routines, and others that I have that I won't bore you with, I came across this article on "Habits That Crush Us" (I'm thankful for spell check as well.  It is my habit to spell habit as habbit.  Wrong every time.) and how you can change them and change your life a little at a time.

We have all had enough experience with New Years Resolutions as to know that a habit can be pretty hard to change, and sometimes it is hard to tell a habit.  Sometimes our behavior has moved from a habit and could be classified as a compulsion or an addiction.  This was a pretty good article in that it talks about unhealthy habits that we form that are coping mechanisms for stress and boredom.  And how to substitute a healthy, positive habit for an unhealthy habit.  Sometimes we can't get rid of the things that cause stress in our lives, and boredom sneaks up on all of us, but if we recognize the trigger that activates the unhealthy activity, can we substitute a positive activity.  I hadn't really thought of stress and boredom being triggers, but it's pretty easy to waste a lot of time on the Internet, or playing a game when there are other, better things to do.

That's about it.  Just a few thoughts for a foggy winter day.  Hope you have a good day.

4 comments:

Jenny said...

Interesting article and something I've been suspecting about myself for some time. Interesting to hear what your habits are. :)

Annie of Blue Gables said...

Interesting post, and interesting article. Thanks, Sweet Friend.
~a

Katie said...

I too find comfort in routine. It is always interesting to find out what your habits are, and your routines are from day to day. And my favorite lunch is always soup and some bread... now I know where I get it from. :)

Andrew Hahn said...

Breakfast: Homemade granola; Lunch: leftovers; Dinner: crackers meat/cheese/carrots.

Same items in their specific pockets in my bag, same route to work. (I'm not within seconds of getting to/from work in the exact same time according to my GPS).

So...am I getting old?