I have often wondered why good habits are so hard to establish, and so difficult to maintain once up and running. Bad habits seem to find me ever willing to pick them up and not often willing to throw them out. It isn't as if it's tough to tell the difference between a good habit and a bad one. There are glaring differences. Guilty negative waves from one and often non-manic self-satisfaction with the other.
I grew up in an alcoholic family. I saw the damage alcohol could create and I still let it get it's hooks into me. Wasted time, money, and many good graces to the evil drink. Now that I don't drink, I am not sure why I became dependent so many years ago. The buzz? The chemically induced invincibility? Or the numbed and blunted emotions? It certainly was not the many hangovers that kept me coming back to that bottle of Jack. It certainly was not those blackouts that ended up alienating friends and relatives. Damn! It's been at least 10 years since I last got drunk and now I cannot for the life of me think of a reason why I drank in the first place. Not even a bad reason.
The odd thing though is I quit drinking for the health of my liver. I also figured a side benny would be a happier me. I am neither happier nor am I healthier. Everything's about the same I guess. But I have saved a boatload of money.
I absolutely do not miss the demon rum. Occaisionally I will lust for a beer. A tall frosty cold one after a hot summer day of yardwork. I have cracked one open, but always leave it before I have consumed half. I just do not like alcohol anymore. Well, maybe a good whiskey, scotch or sourmash might turn my head. But not so much that I have had to throw out the bottle in the cupboard. It has been there for over 10 years.
But this is not about bad habits. I am concerned more now with turning over some good ones. This winter I want fight the cabin fever blues, keep my weight down, and come out on the other side in March like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Every Fall I tell myself this. Every Fall I insist I will not fail this time. And every March, I realize I did indeed fall short again.
I have had the same problem for so long that I no longer need to look for the solution. The solution is right there and so very simple any bonehead ought to be able to follow through. I guess I am not just any bonehead. But even special cases such as myself can catch on eventually.
All I have to do is stay engaged. That is, don't worry about being pinned up inside, or the fact that the shop is dead. There is always something else to do. Chores and projects that need attention. Good books that need reading. And good habits to seek out and make my own. Staying busy is the key.
Okay. I have now identified the solution and for the first time put it in writing. I will revisit this post in March to fill everyone in, including myself, on how it went. Wish me luck.