We, Creatures of Habits


I recently purchased several books on habits. Why the topic? Simply because one of the books purchased has been in my “must read” folder, since its publication in 2012. So naturally it was the first one I purchased. With a little help from Amazon’s suggestion tool, I added two others in my basket.
The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg, gives great insights into the relevance of habits formation and how much they shape and define our society whether we are conscious about it or not. Great introduction into the subject.

My second read: Better than Before, Rubin Gretchen, The Happiness Project author, was an eye opener as it delved into our everyday lives habits. I realized that some repetitive actions, the good and the ugly, stem from a routine I have carried around for long. An ugly one being flossing while watching a show on television. Not a very family-friendly activity.

I identified few habits I should implement to make my life easier, but more important, to be a better human in my house. How is that you ask? Well picture me arriving home from work and before I even get to the door I already have comments on the tidiness of the yard, or that one of the decorative tree is slighty higher than the other one, or asking (with scorn in my voice) my daughter if she really went to school with her hair as it is. Now enters that matron (still I) in the house and the rambling continues until my husband simply asks “Evening darling, how was your day?”. That and other gentle and subtle sentences of his always break the spell and make me come out of the trance. Only then do I sit down to hear my folks.

So enters a transition habit to switch from professional woman to mother and wife. I call it family debriefing routine where I allow a 30 minutes sit down and talk, on the patio – currently living on an island – with kids and husband before entering the house. It creates a proper and gentler transition, and most importantly, family bond is renewed.

Another great habit suggested in the book was scheduling a time slot for worry time. As the author puts it: Instead of worrying continually, a person saves the worry until the appointed time, and then worries until the time is up. How brilliant is that! All humans should adopt this habit. Here is my theory and how it could enrich interpersonal relationship: since we know that most individual worries; if those persons would schedule a worry time slot – preferably when not around another individual – they would both listen to each other . Who hasn’t been in a conversation where the end receiver is completely absorbed, not by what you are saying, but by an answer to formulate back to you? I know I have been guilty of such behaviour.
I am convinced that everyone enjoys the company of people that truly listen to them and are fully present in the conversation.
So kudos to that habit which has found a place in my schedule.


My Sexual Aha Moment

My hubby and I met 14 years ago at an alumni reunion. I had been purposely single for the past 5 years. Five years I spent enjoying the dating scene, or to put it more bluntly, consuming men with no strings attached. In my 20 something mind, life was sweet: I was single, young, and attractive. It was in this frivolous frame of mind that I met my would-be husband. So naturally for me, after a couple of months I was uneasy and wanted out, yet his aura of confidence drew me closer. After six months, realizing that I had butterflies twisting my tummy at the thoughts of me made me panic with fear of falling in love. I could no longer contain myself and told him it was over, all the while hoping he would plead me to stay. He did not. I then sat on my ego and stayed. One of my best decision so far.

Our relationship has had our share of the good, the bad, and the ugly. One of those ugly adventures was a long sexless period of time, how long you ask? Hum, about 2 months, yikes! Anyhow, after a long discussion for the reasons we went along ignoring each other’s needs, we had a great make-up sex.

The day after when I realized that was deeply in tune with my husband. My aha moment came from the realization that sex nurtures the loving bond between two soulmates. Sexual intercourse is sacred: it is Love with a capital L. Sexual intercourse is a divine bridge between humans and God.

Unfortunately, our society has transformed sex into a consumable. Our generation of kids is exposed to it earlier than before but don’t know better since they copycat their adult siblings. Heck, I went along that road myself.

I wish I had come to this realization sooner. However, I am consoling myself by knowing that my kids will learn about the sacredness of sex sooner than I did.

To Love with a capital L!

Intellectual Prostitution

Her forearm was throbbing with pain, much like an icy wave going through her arm. She squeezed it, wave it in rapid movements, clenched it, in a desperate attempt to warm it up, to no avail. The tendinitis was one in a series that started with headaches, hip aches, and sleeplessness. She had endured these ailments, in silence, for almost 2 years.

The pay was excellent, the kids were blossoming, the hubby was content and they were living in a paradise island. She traded these goodies for her physical health. She patched her health as best she knew how, and was convinced she nailed it with her discipline routines. She started the day with rigorous stretching exercises to alleviate hip pains. She ended the day with meditation to help with the sleeplessness. Throughout the day, she downed up to 2 liters of liquids, mainly water and herbal infusion. She had read that excellence is but a series of methodical habits. Little did she know that she was in fact trading her know-how for money without enjoying the process.

At the end of the day, we all need the money in order to accomplish whatever we have set ourselves to do or to have; however, the journey of acquiring money must be enjoyable. We must be passionate about the money gain process. If we are not enjoying our work, we become work or intellectual prostitute. Some will argue that life may not give all the luxury to choose a passionate work. My answer is to delve in a project or a passion outside of work that will keep your motivation on the high end. We are the sole guardian of our knowledge and must share it with our best interest in mind. I do not know of a better interest than one’s health. Moreover, no amount of money is worth selling our health for. Therefore, before you feel trapped in the equation of shared knowledge + boredom = money, you must alter one or more elements of the equation until you are satisfied with the results.

Here are a few examples:

  • Shared knowledge+passion = money
  • Shared knowledge+passion = freedom
  • Shared knowledge+money = satisfaction
  • Shared knowledge+money = accomplishment

In conclusion, for our health’s sake let’s avoid being trapped in work martyrdom to justify our statu quo lifestyle.

To work pro-choice for all!