A Habit That Serves

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 itTake 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!

Comments

  1. :-) brings a smile to my face and a lot of memories!

  2. Ha. I married a man who was similar when we were first married. We’ve both rubbed off on each other after 6 years. It still takes lots of work for me, but we have a good system working together on lots of things and he helps out a lot around the house. But like you’ve mentioned before–simplifying (everything) and having less makes the habits more enjoyable.

    Have you read about the Charlotte Mason approach to teaching habits to kids/family? I think it’s called “Laying Down the Rails.” (Basically, you focus on one habit a week.)

    • Yes, Keren! After I started habit training my kids I decided to read more of her approach since I knew that was one of her main thrusts. Stay tuned…I’m starting a weekly series soon on educational philosophies as that is a huge interest of mine. :)

  3. Are you planning to share your system for habit-training in a future post? If not, would you share it here in the comments? I’m VERY interested…especially since I’ve JUST been noticing the need and commenting to M about needing to set up certain habits that are naturally a part of life! What a timely post…AGAIN :-)

    • Johanna says:

      Yes, I will write a post soon on how I go about it. I’m sure there are many ways to do it, but I’ll share what has worked for me. :)

  4. Pretty sure I had all those same feelings when we were first married. That is SO David. I’ve come to LOVE it now, and yes my hubby has also loosened up in other areas :) And hopefully I’ve changed as well. Marriage is amazing :)

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