All this talking and mindfulness of bad habits has made me feel....normal. I don't think I struggle with perfection, but I AM notoriously hard on myself. Oddly, I feel better talking with people about bad habits and learning I'm not the only one.
Also, I realize I need to contrast the bad habits with the good ones I've cultivated over the years. Otherwise, I just sound completely pitiful. So here's to the bad habits I've done away with and the good one's I've added...
I quit biting my nails: I had quite a habit of this when I was a kid and into my teens. It was so bad that my mom used to paint my fingers with Sally Hansen's Nail Biter formula, which tasted like dangerous chemicals and probably was. Unfortunately, I grew to like the taste of the chemicals too.
I quit cursing: My language was as salty as a sailor at one time. In my world, the F-word was a verb sprinkled liberally over everything.
I stopped lying: Did you know that lying is a normal reflex and that the average person lies 56 times a day or at least twice in each ten minute conversation? In children, lying is actually a sign of cognitive development, but guess where they pick it up? From their parents:)
I broke the lying habit about ten years ago and was extremely proud of this, but recently have picked it up again in one area, which leads me to the next habit I quit.
I stopped cheating: I used to cheat A LOT and I was super good at it. I gave that up ten years ago as well, but picked it up again this year because I am a slow learner.
I learned that in public schools (at least here) you can sometimes get punished for telling the truth. I'm pulling my kids out of public school next year, so that will take care of that!
I QUIT smoking: I was a lifelong smoker and just celebrated my 11th year of being smoke free!!!!
I quit drinking: I've been sober for five and a half years. I wasn't an alcoholic and didn't have any problems with it (except for those times I lost all my inhibition and, in a fit of rage, told my husband what I really thought of him...oops). I just knew God had a better life planned for me.
They say, nature doesn't like a vacuum and that's true! When you quit a bad habit, you have to fill it with something good, so here are the good habits I've cultivated over time.
I wake up before everyone else every day.
I spend quiet time with God every day.
I'm thankful on purpose, every day.
I make my bed every day.
I take a shower every day. You're welcome.
My house is clutter free
My house is clean. Sometimes it's messy...but never, ever, filthy.
I encourage my family every day.
I eat healthfully.
I love myself as well as others.
I think I'll celebrate a little.
In all seriousness though, bad habits are a part of life. My dog gave me the perfect illustration of this yesterday. He's addicted to writing instruments - pens, pencils, markers....you name it. He's so bad he raids my purse to get them.
I've tried to retrain him by giving him chew toys instead. In fact, yesterday, I gave him the clear choice.
Today my son pointed out that Titan not only made the wrong choice - he made the worst choice. He picked the cheap pencil over the more expensive brand name one.
Praying you make the best choice in your habits today!