One thing I should clarify about habits (yes, that again)–by definition it’s something you have to consciously incorporate and reinforce daily. I don’t suddenly wake up one morning and automatically run laps like a mechanical hamster on a wheel, something I find incredibly boring. Yet it does get easier, and the physical and mental benefits help to motivate me to keep going. I may only do 5 laps some days, but it’s attainable, I feel good having done it, and thus reinforces itself.
I’m someone who hates the idea of artificial exercise, like treadmills and ellipticals. My job in horticulture used to be more than enough exercise, without going home to torture devices. I’d much rather get a workout organically, as in gardening, or hiking in a forest. Since those are rarely or sporadically accessible to me now, walking in mindless circles (or to Avdi’s, when the weather permits, and helping out around the house) will suffice.
The same goes for writing, though in that case I do like to write, generally. But having to practice it every day, whether I have anything to say or not (usually not), is a challenge. Witness this very post. Not a lot of new material! No inspiring, life-changing actions or events. Just me trying to figure out how to make the most of what little time I have left, on a fixed income and without a car, and not just turn into a zucchini throw pillow (in-joke) taking up space.
I realize if you’re someone younger, with a job, and constant pressure to prioritize all your responsibilities, none of this makes sense or resonates. You’re thinking, must be nice to have the time to sit around and overthink how to spend all the downtime. To be past having to slave and stress for a living.
But it’s a different kind of stress, to have time and yet very little time left. To feel like you wasted and squandered so much of your life on poor decisions, and now the pressure’s on to make every last minute count, only…how do you do that?
Yes, maybe I am an over-thinker! Most people just retire and go play golf or crochet things. Not me. I’m cursed with wanting to offset some of the negative past with making things better before I go. But clueless how or with what resources to do that. No doubt a Jewish Aquarian neurotic curse. But it’s mine and I came by it honest.
Hmm, got a little tangential there, apologies. My mind can be a tangled place. You should see the bizarre nightmares! But let’s get back to boring sameness. I dutifully did my 5 laps, am about to consider the weighty (no pun intended) question of food, definitely wrote my daily essay, will probably socialize at A’s, and reading, I’ve decided, is already an automatic given, not something I have to work at.
Maybe there’s a habit of under-thinking I could work on? Is that the same as meditation? We’ll find out.