Friday, September 23, 2005

Bad habits


I suppose "bad habits" is a bit over stated. It just seemed to match the photo better. I was just thinking this morning about how easy it is to become set in my ways about doing things a certain way.

I have been riding the train to work for about a month now and already I have got into the habit of parking in the same spot at the station, standing at the same spot on the platform and rushing in when the train doors open to sit in the same seat. The other day someone was sitting in "my" seat and I almost screamed at them. If I was a dog, I think I would have lifted my leg and marked the damned seat right then and there.

But I am a civilized individual. I just muttered and glared and slunk off to find another seat that I'm sure belonged to someone else as well.

I think we cling to our petty little patterns because there are very few things we can actually control in our lives. And I've never been an individual who embraced change for change's sake.
This is ironic since I also get bored easily.

This is not to say that it is impossible for me to change or break habits. I chewed my fingernails for almost 45 years and then stopped last spring before my wedding because I was ashamed of how my fingers would have looked in the wedding photos of our hands and rings. I haven't chewed them since.

I also used to be a notorious packrat. I couldn't throw anything away. The past six months or so of merging households and moving into a new house has really changed that. And it's not just circumstances that have changed. I don't want tons of stuff anymore. Proof: on my recent trip to Reno, I didn't buy a single tacky souvenir. In the past I would have come home with at least two t-shirts and a clock with dice on the dials.

Maybe it's an age thing. My priorities are shifting along with my body parts. But at least I think I'm proving that, although you may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, you can at least paper train him.

7 comments:

teri said...

hmmm... I think we all to it. It's funny to think about the things that I do the same everyday...eekkk...Oh well, there's something else that I can worry about. nah.

R. said...

In public spaces it may be safer to engage in less predictable habits.

In the parking lot I suggest you occasionally park perpendicular to the yellow lines. It will foil any attempt to mark you by your parking habits.

After you board the train make sure you change your seat at least twice every five minutes. Make sure you glare suspiciously at all the people you walk past.

Change your shoes before you get off the train. This will foil the shoe fetishists who may be stalking you based on your footwear.

Practice foriegn sounding accents. I suggest emulating the voice talents found on "The Simpson's." Change your accent every time you switch seats.

Tim ID said...

Teri, Don't worry, be happy.

R. I take it these are things that have worked for you. I think it would be easier just to put a sign on my back that says, "Whack Job, arrest me now."

R. said...

Tim-elvis:
I've never tried those things. In these times of fear and suspicion I wouldn't seriously suggest anyone else try them either.

Perhaps we could add to your idea of people feeling they have little control over their lives by ammending that people feel they do not have much control over the consequences arising out of exercising free will.

Lights in the wake said...

That's a fantastic picture. I think you may have missed your calling.

shandi said...

I'm sitting here trying desperately to think of any bad habits I may have. Maybe it's denial, cause I can't think of any. I tend to go off on a bender when things become too predictable. Can chaos be a pattern?

Tim ID said...

R, Great point about the consequences of free will.

Lights, We'll have nun of that.

Shandi, Yes, Chaos is the ultimate pattern that many of us feel is the only way to be normal.