Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hard Habits To Break

My maternal grandmother passed away before I was born, so I never had the privilege of knowing her. However, I was very close to my paternal grandmother, who we called MamMaw. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with her and enjoyed being the only girl among her 5 grandchildren (until I was a teenager when the family finally got another girl.) 

As much as I loved her, there was one thing I did not enjoy about being at her house - the cigarette smoke. You see, MamMaw began smoking when she was young - maybe as young as 17 or 18. Back then, people weren't aware of the detrimental effects smoking could have on your health. By the time I came along, it was a bad habit MamMaw had been practicing for many, many years. 

Eventually and inevitably, it began taking a toll on her health. She had emphysema and just walking from the car into our house required her to sit down and catch her breath. I don't really remember what it was (maybe even nothing specific) that prompted her to quit smoking, but I remember when she finally made the decision. She quit "cold turkey!" Once she made up her mind, she gave all her cigarettes away one day and, as far as I am aware, never smoked one again. She didn't use a nicotine patch or any medication. She just quit. After 30+ years, she just quit.

When I think about it, it makes me wonder why any of us have bad habits really. I mean, if MamMaw can quit something like that after so long, why can't we all quit whatever bad habits we have?

Here are a few bad habits I really should stop:
  1. Self criticizing - Why are we so hard on ourselves? When I look in the mirror, it's like an instinct to find something wrong. Too fat; hair too mousy; clothes too frumpy. I'm in the habit of seeing the bad before I notice the good.
  2. Along with that, I have a bad habit of deflecting compliments. If someone tells me I look nice, I just shrug it off and reply, "Not really!" (or something like that). If someone tells me I did a good job with something, I say "It wasn't really a big deal." (even though maybe it was) What I should do is stand a little taller and say "Thanks! I worked really hard and I appreciate that you noticed!"
  3. People who know me well might not believe me when I add procrastination to the list because I am definitely a planner and an organizer. I have a giant calendar in my home office with a to-do list down the side. I have another to-do list on my desk at work and a Target/Grocery store list on my Notes app all the time. I do, however, procrastinate a lot when it comes to the things I don't like to do and the things that aren't imperative. Only a few dishes in the sink? I'll use these two minutes to play Candy Crush instead. That laundry that just finished drying? It will still be there tomorrow and I can just fluff it up a little. 
  4. Plying Candy Crush and Cookie Jam. See #3. It's like an addiction, people! I play while I'm riding in the car (not driving!), while I'm sitting in carpool, while I'm cooking dinner, and the list goes on. It's a bad, bad habit!!!!
  5. This one is hard to admit, but the list wouldn't be honest if I didn't add speeding. Seriously, I cannot even begin to tell you how many hours and miles I spend in my car each day. Between carpools, errands, and extracurriculars it's a lot and it seems I'm always rushing to get somewhere. Sometimes, I don't even realize how speedy I am until I get behind someone who I think is going so annoyingly slow. Then, I look at my speedometer and realize they are actually doing the speed limit and I am the one who is probably annoying. 
  6. Another thing I should really stop doing is Pinning recipes I will never make. I do this so much, I even wrote an entire blog post about it. Honestly, y'all, I have 15 different recipes boards on Pinterest. Pasta recipes, chicken recipes, crock pot recipes, appetizer recipes, soup recipes, seafood recipes (I don't even like seafood!!)  . . . . . . Why???? I know I will never make even half of them in real life. 
If I think really hard, I could probably come up with a few more of my own bad habits, but since I'm trying to stop self-criticizing {;;wink;;wink;;}, I'll use the last few spots to talk about the people I love and a few of their bad habits. 
  • You would think that, after 20 years of courtship and marriage, my husband could remember that listening to him crunch ice is the equivalent of someone running their fingernails down a chalkboard to me. Yet, he still does it all the time. It's a habit he REALLY needs to break!
  • Another thing he does that makes me crazy? He brings his phone to the dinner table. Once in a while, it's because he's awaiting an important business call, but more often it's not. He's cruising Facebook or checking the stock market reports. I admit completely that I am rather addicted to my phone as well (see #4 above), but I really try not to bring the table and I don't allow our kids to either.
  • Speaking of kids, mine are slobs. They have a terribly bad habit of making messes everywhere. They leave shoes by the front door. They leave cups and food wrappers on the couch. They leave laundry piled up in their rooms. I have tried and tried to get them in the good habit of picking up after themselves, but it just doesn't seem to sink in no matter what I do.
  • They are also in the habit of bickering constantly, especially the oldest two. Sometimes, it's like they cannot even be in the same room without intentionally provoking one another. 
There you have it - some of the most offensive bad habits in my life! 

"Bad habits are like a comfortable bed; easy to get into, but hard to get out of." #TuesdayTen @TheGoldenSpoons @MamaRabia
As I wrote, this the chorus of this 1984 Chicago song kept playing in my mind, so I'll leave you with this video in the hopes that it will inspire you to kick one of your bad habits - at least for today! 

Your Tuesday Ten hostesses are:


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Come link up again next Tuesday, November 24th. It will be just before Thanksgiving, so we'll be getting in the spirit by list all the things we are thankful for.
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