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Habits

Posted Jun 07 2014 2:25pm
Habits.  I don’t know if people have good habits or bad habits, rather I’d like to think of them as healthy habits or unhealthy habits. What habits do we possess that help us grow?  To grow mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.  These are the habits that I believe give us self-worth.

These thoughts popped into my head after a short discussion with an acquaintance.  This person lives for the now and has no thoughts for tomorrow.  He has often told me that he could die tomorrow and miss out on the joys of today.  That very well could be true, yet he also could be alive tomorrow and having to deal with the decisions he made yesterday.

I like the guy, yet he is like a kid when it comes to money.  It will burn a hole in his wallet if he doesn’t get rid of it right now.  And even when that wallet is empty, those credit cards are just chomping at the bit, to get out and buy something.  Here is a person who eats out everyday.  Yet, they felt the need to spend $320 on a new cookware set.  Why?

As I watch this person go from one buying adventure to the next and then watch the ensuing drama about waiting for his next paycheck, I can’t help and look back at my own habits and how they have changed in the last four and a half years.

Towards the end of my marriage, I just wanted to die.  I had no life, no drive – nothing.  And my habits reflected this attitude.  I’d come home from work and just hide in my little office.  I quit doing yard work, something I used to find enjoyment with.  I quit caring for the goldfish ponds I created and took great pride in.
Instead of shaving everyday, I might do that once a week.  I’d bring food into bed and leave the dirty dishes on the floor for days at a time… empty soda cans were everywhere.  I’m ashamed to say even my personal hygiene was non-existent.  If I had any money, I’d spend it just so the ex-wife wouldn’t get it.  It was a horrible way to live.

When I left that house and that marriage, I left with the clothes I owned, my computer and my sports memorabilia collection.  And that was all I wanted.  I didn’t care about a newer vehicle we had… I took the ’85 Olds.  I just wanted out and I wanted as little friction as possible.

When the dust settled I ended up living in a 600 square foot apartment, which is where I’m still at now.  I love it.  It is simple and easy to maintain.  I can’t own much because I don’t have any room for it.

By the end of 2009, I was starting life all over.  I was over $50,000 in debt and had no idea how to get out of it.  I was scared to answer the phone or even to open my mail.

One by one, I started working on those debts… creating new habits along the way.  First, to live with the money I earned and not with credit cards.  As the debts began to clear, I began to find some confidence in answering the phone.

And with that confidence, more new habits developed.  The bed was made every morning.  Personal hygiene was placed front and center.  Good eating habits developed and a healthy respect for money also followed along.  Laundry is done on a regular schedule.  The carpets are vacuumed and the
kitchen and bathroom floors are mopped.  Dishes are washed nightly.

It’s all about healthy habits.  It’s not about extra work.  It is about taking care of myself and having some discipline in my life, where there used to be none.


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