When the phrase, a creature of habit, was used I always thought of it as a negative thing. Visions of someone who was completely void of all personality, fun, and flexibility were formed in my mind. That certainly was not me. And it was someone I did not want to become.
Then I met my husband.
When we first got married I immediately realized that I had married “one of those.” He would walk in the house, put his shoes away, his wallet and keys and whatever else he had in the same exact spot. Every. Single. Time. No matter how tired he was, if he was in a hurry, or if we was going to be heading back out in 30 minutes, he always did it. He does this for many other things as well.
Photo by jakeliefer
I was extremely frustrated and I deemed it my responsibility to lighten him up. To open his life up to the wonderful world of flexibility. He was very gracious, but would remind me that life was easier this way. It took a while, but I eventually realized that the reason I would get so frustrated was because I was actually feeling lazy.
Sure, now you make me look bad. I am the one walking in the house, kicking off my shoes and throwing myself down on the couch in a state of exhaustion. I will put my things away later. Or tomorrow. Or…
I also realized that, among other things, we have never once spent time looking for his keys, but we have for mine. I have finally concluded that:
A habit, when created intentionally, serves you and your family.
So I set about training myself in certain habits. I have learned to embrace habits that serve me and my family. It takes work. It takes discipline. But it really is worth it. Take it from a girl who was anti-habit making! I now have a system for habit-training myself and my kids. Truthfully it has been one of the most helpful and liberating things in my home management and parenting life. Life is easier!
Maybe for some of you this sort of thing comes naturally. I will be honest, though, for me it takes work! Now that I am on the other side of some of my habit-training, I have really seen the benefit!
Apparently, I am not completely off track either, because Aristotle agrees.
“Habits are also pleasant; for as soon as a thing has become habitual, it is virtually natural. It is pleasant as a rule to move towards a natural state of being.” ~Aristotle
By the way. I have loosened Brian up in other areas. 😉 That is what marriage is though, right? Each person changing, hopefully for the better!
Do you think of habits as positive or negative? Do you habit-train yourself? (Or is it just me?) Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear!