I’m writing this on a Saturday, and as I do most Saturdays, unless there is an important reason not to…I wash clothes and put them methodically away. I’ll write my younger son, and e-mail my two other kids. I’ll go downtown for prescriptions and stop at the library. Later on, I’ll probably call my sister and my two Minnesota grandkids. I’ll be expecting calls from my kids either today or tomorrow. I might write a “RAMifications.”
It might sound humdrum, but it’s “habit.” I’ve been washing clothes on Saturday mornings since my kids were small, when I worked on weekdays, even way back then.
I realize I’m a creature of habit.
I have definite days that I do certain things. Thursday is the day I get groceries. It isn’t written in stone…I make adjustments when necessary. But it works better for me to follow a schedule.
I’ve been making daily lists of “things to do” since way back in high school and perhaps even earlier (read history lesson, etc.). I can’t picture trying to remember “things to do,” either at home or at work, if I haven’t made a notation. I don’t forget much that way. I dislike disorder.
My schedules go beyond the daily…I note when I should plant tomatoes, clean the spare room, get the oil changed. Birthdays are listed so I don’t overlook them. These things are written on my “things to do…”
It is a “habit,” that’s never worked against me. I’ve never figured out how some people just float along without some sort of “list,” either written or stored on some sort of brainwave.
I also realize I’ve picked up certain patterns of speech, terms and references that go way back, and that, too, is a type of habit.
To this day, I use certain phrases or terms that my mom did. I still employ “Minnesota talk” to certain situations…“Uff-da” is my favorite. It’s an all-inclusive word that can mean everything from “Wonderful” to “Good grief, I hate that!”
Somehow, apparently, I unintentionally (through habit) have picked up on some of the inflections people close to me have, and quite a few recognize my voice, even after periods of not being in touch.
We aren’t always aware of all the influences in our lives, until they show up in ours. Be it how we speak or how we behave or how we respond to certain circumstances, a lot is ingrained.
For instance, I use few terms or words that would be termed “inappropriate,” “vulgar” or “swear words.” I know all the words and terms, but it was “ingrained” in me many years ago that civilized persons have better ways to convey what they think. I can happily report that my kids speak 99 percent of the time without resorting to “junk,” and from what I’ve observed, so do my grandkids.
Most of my influences have been positive…and if they rubbed off on me, that’s even more positive.
Because I’m a creature of habit, I’m thankful for people who led me on a gentle path. People like that are still the ones I appreciate and feel blessed to know or have known. Sadly, some nowadays don’t quite measure up to that.
Writing notes to myself keeps me organized, but picking up on how people speak and how they convey their ideas is priceless. Those are “habits” I cultivate.
A creature of habit…