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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Habits

It's been almost 3 weeks since I last wrote here.  I had gotten into the habit of writing once weekly, though I told myself I wanted to write more often than that.  I didn't make the time to do it. And then I missed a week.  And another.  As I come back today, I see myself as the dog coming in, tail between the legs, head bowed.  I doubt any of you have any need or desire to scold me about my absence.  I do the scolding well enough on my own. You're probably kinder to me than I am to myself, anyway.

Then there's this other thing going on in my life, a quite unexpected,, and quite welcome change of patterns: my house has been consistently clean for longer than it has ever been.  Ever.  EVER.  This is not to say it is immaculate.  And some people might still call it messy.  However, I cannot leave my bedroom in the morning without making my bed.  I cannot take off my pajamas without folding them.  I cannot take clothes off at the end of the day without rehanging them, folding them, or tossing them in the hamper. To walk into my bedroom and see the entire floor- the whole thing except where it's covered by furniture- is something new. And it happens even when I am the only one in the house.  Perhaps these accomplishments do not impress, but those who have known me for many years could attest to the magnitude of these feats for me.

Slowly, habits that eluded me for 30+ years attached themselves to me, starting when I lived with nuns in India, solidifying when I lived in community in Palestine, and continuing as I traveled through Europe, and came back to my house.

One of my Lenten resolutions this year was to write daily.  Most days my writing took the form of journaling, a writing form I've done in fits and starts throughout my life.  During Lent I did miss a few days because I fell asleep on my couch before I'd written or I simply forgot, but I never willfully chose not to write.  When Lent ended, I stopped writing daily, but I am writing more consistently than before.  It's a start.

Maybe I need to make sure my journal is out where I see it all the time.  Maybe it needs to live on my nice neatly-made bed, so that I can't go to bed until I have written in it.  Maybe if I make those little changes, new habits will form.  Maybe daily journal writing will help me to do more and more blog writing.  When I came home I declared writing as one of my major pursuits, but it seems that as I get busier, writing is the goal that I push aside for other things.  For less fulfilling, sometimes mindless things.

I need to write.

Today I am choosing not to beat myself up for my lapse in blog writing.  I am choosing to forgive myself for my faults.  I am choosing to stand tall and hold my head high.  Today I am choosing a new start. A new habit, that given a little care, will become as natural and necessary to me as that little activity called making the bed.  If that habit is a reality, surely this can be, too.


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