Old Habits, New Habits, No Habits, All Habits

I’m a little embarrassed to say that I don’t know what to blog about!
I miss the ABC Blog Challenge. This Idea Lady seems to be having trouble thinking up blog ideas without the direction of the alphabet.
C is for Conditioning!
H is for Habit!
(If only exercise was that easy for me! A is for abs? Hey, I might be onto something…)

There’s been plenty of research done about making and breaking habits. There’re a lot of convincing recommendations like, Three weeks to a Better Me, or If you do something a thousand times, it becomes habit.

The 21 day myth may well come from a book published in 1960 by a plastic surgeon. Dr. Maxwell Maltz noticed that amputees took, on average, 21 days to adjust to the loss of a limb and he argued that people take 21 days to adjust to any major life changes.”
Fascinating, don’t you think? Three weeks to adjust to a major change. It’s probably true for the most part, but I’m sure the lingering feeling of the phantom limb lasts a lot longer.

People are pretty resilient; I don’t think anyone would disagree with that as a whole.
Big changes are one thing—you have to adapt, but how about small things?
Like exercise. And blog topics.
It stands to reason that since (in general) big changes are rare, it would be the little things that make a daily difference in our lives.

Habits are routines of behavior that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously.

“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”
Samuel Johnson

I have been Monday blogging for a year and a half now. I think I’m pretty regular about it; it’s probably almost a habit. The ABC Blog Challenge directed me for a third of that time—26 weeks, 26 recent weeks. I’m sure that once I get back in the habit of winging my Monday Morning Topics, I’ll be fine.
Would that be considered breaking a habit or remaking one?

I do find the whole idea of conditioning fascinating.

This weather, for instance, although smack in the middle of summer, as we reach traditionally the hottest time of the year, has me yearning for football! Cold beer at noon and bags at half-time! Fires in the firepit at 5 pm– which is dusk, yes? I mean, it’s 66 degrees out! It must be fall.

Heading to Madison this past Saturday, I thought, “I can’t believe I forgot a coat!” then I thought, “I can’t believe I need a coat! IT’S JULY.”
(What a difference a week makes, eh? Last week’s “sweaty, glowing, damp, wrinkle-sagging, curl-dropping elephant in the room” is now a cute little penguin waddling ‘round in his au natural tuxedo.)

The extent of our daily conditioning is amazing when you consider it…

How many times have you arrived in your driveway after a long day of work and don’t remember the drive? You hope you had green lights! Of course you did—you’re not a bad driver, you were just on auto-pilot. Commuting has become a habit, something you do without thinking.
How about watching a movie—do you crave popcorn?
Ever stumbled into bed, so tired, ready to hit the sheets hard, only to realize, crap, you forgot to brush your teeth?
What happens if you miss your morning coffee? Your whole day seems off, right?
Can you go an hour without checking your phone, computer, tablet? Ten minutes?
I guess the beauty of a habit is that you don’t consider it, you just do.

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us” – John Dryden

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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