Am I my habits? Are my habits me? Doesn’t the word ‘Habit’ look weird written down?

I’ve been dwelling on the notion of ‘Habit’ for a while now.

“We are what we repeatedly do.

Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ”  Aristotle

This quote really made me think…..”What are my habits?”  I don’t take chances, that’s for damn sure. It’s probably the reason why I’m a classroom assistant instead of an up and coming publisher for Random House, or  perhaps it’s the reason why I haven’t become an elephant riding National Geographic journalist with the courage of Amelia Earhart and the heart of Mother Theresa. I habitually lack discipline in most aspects of my life and I have the willpower of  a heroin induced depressed sloth. This is illustrated in the fact that I rarely exercise, I eat more than any man I’ve ever met and on occasion have been known to sleep in ’till 3.30pm in a job that finishes at 3.30pm…..Oh dearie me!!

I’m being a bit hard on myself there actually. My  current job has forced me in to the habit of getting up early which makes me feel wondrously smug, especially when my artist boyfriend gently rises from his slumber at (a not very respectable) 1pm. I can look at him in the imagined manner of Virginia Woolf, “You lazy rat!! Why must I be anchored to such a piteous slug as yourself, especially after a hard days toil of laminating and tea refreshing! You Odious beast! You are no gentleman!!! You cad! You wretch!!!!….and so on and so forth till the poor man relents and makes me my supper!!!!

Thinking in this manner is quite light-hearted and fun, wouldn’t you agree?….But what if my habits stop moi from ever truly achieving? What if my habits stop me from having a body that I’m comfortable in, from progressing in any job that I have, from leading a happy and fulfilled life? How can I change my habits when they’re such an ingrained part of me? How do I stop this line of Oprah style questioning?

*CONFESSION ALERT!!!*

If I’m being honest, the real reason that the word ‘Habit’ has made an impact on me is that in the past six months or so I have got in to the habit of flirting with a colleague. At first it was casual; the odd smile, the occasional stare but then a drunken works night out turned this casual habit in to a sexy kiss, a few secret Facebook messages and ultimately to his fiance finding out and a very ignominious ending to it all.

Back at work it had gone cold turkey with the work colleague and we had called it a day……but then the habit of flirting came back for both of us, seeking each other out, days consumed with the thought of him. It was detrimental to my relationship with my boyfriend and my mental health…but , Oh how to stop the habit of something so intoxcatingly delicious. We had a few undignified but unforgettable meetings in a secret hallway near the library toilets and then he called it a day with my begrudging consent.

So I got in to the habit of cheating. Am I my habits? Am I a cheater? My father was a cheater, did I inherit it from him? Whatever it was, it was a habit very hard to break. Like all habits it was addictive, bad for me and it consumed much of my waking (and sleeping) thoughts. In the end, because of my colleagues fortunate willpower, he has given me the opportunity to walk away from this habit, Well really he has thrust it upon me like a giant piano thrown on top of a Loonytoons  character but I think that’s the shock treatment that I personally need to break a habit.

As an end note…here’s a poem that I wrote today at work (Obviously I wasn’t that busy) on my feelings towards the work colleague:

 

A desperate lust

A heat that travels down

An unconscious move of finger to playful lips

 

You ask me to meet you

In a hidden place

-Our new secret

 

The lights are off

The darkness allows and encourages our desire

It stokes the wheels of sin

And leaves us reeling

 

My body stretches, feline and feminine.

Your hands greedy for the map of my body

You explore my taught, smooth stomach

And feel my breasts.

You grab and claim them.

 

My heart beats like a drum

And the adrenaline is so dizzying

That when I’m sitting at my desk,

Stunned,

I can’t remember what was real and what

Was my eager and desperate dreamings.

 

You’ve ended it now.

Like men do.

Like I expected.

 

Gone back to your real girl.

The kind that knows how to

Hold on to their men.

The ones that pace themselves.

 

Unlike me.

Who gives it away all at once.

Who has it all and loses it in the same breath.

********************************************

 

I hope you enjoyed my amateur musings and subsequent confessional on the topic of ‘Habits’. I will leave you with another thought provoking quote.

Bottoms up, trousers down and tally ho for now old chaps.

– Regretfully anon.

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

-Lao Tzu

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