One Day in a Row

NunsThey say it takes at least thirty days of continued practice to develop or change a habit. I never quite got that. I mean, how much time are you supposed to spend each day? 24 hours? Do you have to do it a the same time every day? And who are “they”, anyway? “They” are surely the most oft-quoted source in all history, or so they say. I think “they” submit all those Wikipedia “facts”.

Since I am unable to string together even a week of consistency, much less thirty days, it may explain why I have so few actual habits. The only thing I do every day, at the same time, without fail, is brush my teeth. I usually shower, unless I’m sick, but the shower could occur at pretty much anytime during the day, depending on how early in the day I get distracted and whether I’m going anywhere. It’s one of the pluses/minuses of a home office. Excuse me- I have to go get a cup of coffee.

I’m back. What was I babbling about? Oh, forming habits. My lack of consistency and discipline certainly explains why I can’t play the hammered dulcimer, finish my book and and why I will always be a yoga beginner. I get excited when I string together two days in a row.

With that lousy track record I am embarking on yet another is a long line of unkept promises. This time, it’s to eat clean, do yoga, mediate every morning, and write for at least an hour. I am pleased to announce that I have already done these things One Day in a Row! Yay, me. Only twenty-nine more to go. Do weekends count? Surely not.

I have this timer. In fact, I have a bunch of them scattered around the house. I set the timer for fifteen minutes, based on the theory that we can do anything for fifteen minutes, no matter how distasteful. (Who says so? They do.) Clean part of a junk drawer. Match socks. Record expenses. Write. Write business stuff, not fun stuff. When the alarm goes off, I have permission to stop and reward myself. I just spent fifteen minutes trying to find one of the timers, so I got another cup of coffee.

I have the attention span of a moth. (I think I just saw a hawk in the chicken coop. Nope, nevermind. Just a chicken with big aspirations.) Forming new habits takes concentration and patience, two other attributes I was not born with. In an attempt to gain control over my barrel-of-monkeys mind, I have been an inconsistent but devoted mediator for most of my adult life. It’s a Looney Tunes version, with wild and crazy thoughts and images flying in and out as I doggedly chant a mantra, yelling it over the chaos. I may be the only mediator who’s exhausted when done . But I won’t give up. I may win yet. Of course if I could just meditate for thirty days in a row…

Timer just went off. Time to write something business-like. Maybe Time Management? But first I need another cup of coffee.


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