Building habits when you love change

I was texting with my mom today and she was asking me how I was doing being away from home for so long. I kind of laughed it off and blamed her for turning me into someone who gets antsy when I’m any one place too long. We moved a lot growing up. I’m fairly sure that’s turned me into someone who craves a change of scenery every so often. I haven’t lived consistently 12 months-in-a-row in one place in over 10 years. Last summer we spent a month of the summer in Florida, then two weeks away from home in Canada. The summer before that we spent a month in Paris. The summer before that I spent a bunch of time all over. You get the idea. Even at work, about every three months I’m itching for even a slight change.

I’ve learned to love habit and routine. It’s a little bit of normal in a whole lot of change. Change I like, change I choose, but change nonetheless. These daily habits help me adjust. They’re predictable. This summer few things are predictable except that I load the dishwasher and run it after lunch and before bedtime. The TV is off all day long until 7 or 8PM and then my in-laws turn it on and watch it until they go to bed. I have a coffee at 1PM. These are some predictable things.

It’s possible I’m a weird genre of people who like change. At times the comfort derived from habits borders on OCD. Eg: Willy will try and get me to walk a different way to work and I get weird. It makes me crazy (thanks to The Power of Habit I understand why!). I walk  one way to the metro in the morning and a different way back from work. That’s just how I do it.

Keep at it

Despite the fact that I find comfort in these routines, when there’s so much change it can take a lot of work to rebuild routines or start new ones. For the first few weeks here I had a morning routine that I was enjoying. I have no idea what derailed it but I haven’t done it in easily a month. Now I’m trying to go back and restart it. It will take some effort at first. The momentum will come as I enjoy the routine. I will feel less and less like I’m working at it.

But it’s almost a fact in my life that some sort of change will come up in my life, there will be another blip on the radar and I’ll have to fight for consistency. It’s predictable. It’s almost a routine in itself. Fail. Start up again. Succeed. See things start to nosedive. Correct. Succeed. Fail again if I’m not giving it the attention it requires, or if I’m stressed or something.

It’s a pattern I’ve noticed and I’m working on.

Are you someone who likes a lot of change? Are you able to form good habits despite your enjoyment of change?

One of those days….

Today I had one of those days. The kind where it starts with a $52 parking ticket that doesn’t really fit in your budget, continues with low energy, a bad french day, grows into one of those days where you drop your iPhone 4 and it shatters the screen etc. One of those days. It was one of those days where I was glad I didn’t have a doctor’s appointment because I was sure whatever she would tell me would involve the words like “cancer” or “infertile” or something terrible like that.

As I was thinking (and crying) about my day it occurred to me why it bothered me so much.

This blog and what I want my life in general to be about is living intentionally, about living on purpose. I don’t want to fail for lack of trying, I don’t want to let things pass me by because I was too afraid to take a stab at it. From another perspective, in a sense it’s about control. I want to be in control of my life.

When days like this happen it becomes very apparent that I can’t be in control of everything. I can hope, try, pray, work hard for things but sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. Sometimes things spin out of control, fall through the cracks and no matter how hard you try to stop it the sand keeps falling through the cracks between your fingers.

This week my coworker and I were asking a bunch of first year students at UQAM what they feared most about coming into University. A lot of them said failure, a lot of them said they feared not liking their program, some of them said being alone or that they feared the bigness of the city for those who were from out-of-town.

I find it revealing how much our fears tell us about ourselves.

What if tomorrow is like today? And the next day? What about the next several weeks? Years? What then?

How does a person cope when life doesn’t go according to plan? Move on and try not to be bitter? Probably a good option. I’m not sure I’m that good at getting over disappointment. If you ask my husband, he’ll tell you I’m not very good at just turning off my bad attitude. I can’t just stop being grumpy. So how do we cope with this fact that no matter how hard we try, plan, and even succeed there is this looming reality that we don’t have the power to make our lives turn out just the way we want?

The way I deal is  through my faith in God which, to be perfectly honest, I feel reticent to post about because I don’t want you to think that’s all I’ll write about. But on a day like this there’s nothing else I can write about. I find a comfort and a hope in the fact that though it’s possible that things in my life may get out of my hands, out of my control, they will never be out of His hands and His control.

Tomorrow, I will publish what I originally wanted to post today: The day I declared on my blog I would run a 10K.

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