Friday, November 20, 2009

Habits

I've been thinking about habits. Habits can be very useful. Sometimes having a customary or routine way of getting through the day can free your mind for multi-tasking, while your hands or body go through the motions of doing what they have been taught to do. I wonder, though, how much of what happens to us is the result of unthinking habits...doing what we have always done because we have always done it -- a kind of circuitous logic that brings us full circle without an awareness of why!

We can probably all subscribe to the goal of conscious living, as in connecting our actions to our thoughts and intentions...being aware of our motivations. It sounds a lot easier than it is, of course, as do most things that are logically good for us. Even when we know that something is not in our best interest, it is easy to shove aside that knowledge and let the habit take over. Some members of my family and I are engaged in one of those very addictive computer games that is a monumental time waster, but so much fun. Being a competitive bunch, it is alarming how hard we play to get ahead of each other, and how an hour can be gone and we have not even noticed the passage of time. It's not a terrible thing to waste an hour in pursuit of some silly fun, but sometimes I sit down with the actual intent to do something completely different(and productive!) and find myself playing that game as though I had no control.

Writing poetry has been helpful to me in forming habits that lead me to a positive outcome -- most of the time. I know that if I don't write, just a few lines, for several days, it is hard to get back in the habit, and then I feel like I've lost ground. Writing for me has become the most productive habit I have ever formed. It gives me an outlet for emotion and creativity and an outlook on life that is more positive. It is my best habit. Don't think I'll ever feel that way about ironing.

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