V.J.'s Weekly Challenge #80: habit

“Be careful of the habits you make,” my father used to lecture, cigarette in one hand, whiskey in the other. “They will either make of you a slave or a master.”

Of course, I had no idea what he was talking about, and I hated that his sermons were always: “Do what I say, not what I do!”

Slave, master…such nonsense to a kid who just wanted to play and had no obligations.

I tried the bottle, and smoked just to spite him – neither habit stuck. I vowed not to be like him. Funny enough, that didn’t work out very well either. Luckily, Dad modelled some good habits too – always rose early, started with a good breakfast, kept physically fit, and had a stellar work ethic.

And he kept his personal struggles to himself.

“No need to take your bad mood out on everyone else,” he’d say as he strode out the door ready to take on the world.

He was a motivator of men, my father. People lined up at his funeral to tell me how he had changed their lives. I wasn’t sure they were talking about the same man that raised us with such a tyrannical fist. Obviously, my father’s habits helped him master the external, and reduced him to a slave in his private life.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my father’s words and questioning my habits – not just the easily detectable, but what lies behind them. Sure, I have a tendency to snack at bedtime, but why? How does this serve me? Am I eating because I’m really hungry? Seldom? Then what emotion/ need/ lacking am I stuffing back down?

This week, I invite you to join me in thinking about the habits that either enslave or empower your life. As always, interpret the challenge as you will.

To participate, create a post and then link back here, or drop the url to your post in the comments below. Look forward to your responses.

Subtract Expectations, Open to Possibility

The snow has been falling all day, filling in the roads behind the plow’s efforts. I am a bit of wreck as I write this. Tomorrow, I am planning a surprise party for Ric’s 70th birthday. The hall is booked, and I’ve delegated all the pieces, but the guest list is shrinking as people are reluctant to travel in this weather.

When you read this, I will be recovering from the day’s activities.

For now, I am consciously subtracting expectations, and adding trust. As far as I know, Ric has no idea.

Wish us well.

***

I love the responses to this week’s challenge. We really are a creative community.

To That Place Again, parallax

2-1= 1, I Write Her

Holiday Aftermath, Eugi’s Causerie

Subtraction, THE BAG LADY

Yearning, Culture Shocks

Fragility of Aging, Stuff and what is…

Untangling Roots, CURATING THOUGHTS

No Worries, one letter UP

Two Minus One, Sgeoil

Subtraction, AWISEWOMANSJOURNEY

Thank you all! See you tomorrow for a new challenge.

V.J.'s Weekly Challenge #79 – subtraction

I adopted my father’s rage at a young age, and learned to wrestle with the best of them, typically boys, ’cause Father said never hit a girl. Most days, I’d return from school with debris in matted hair and torn stockings. Mother would shake her head, muttering:

“No one will ever love you.”

I heard: you’ll never be good enough for love, so I married a man whose every complaint was prefaced with: If you loved me enough, you would….

It wasn’t until I was thirty-nine and he decided to move on that I declared war on the messages that were influencing my choices.

“I am good enough for love!” I shouted to no one in particular, like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum.

Then someone suggested I lose a few words to make the mantra more empowering.

“I am enough for love!” I tried on for size, deciding that the good was redundant.

Then: “I am enough!” or “I am love!”

and eventually settled on “I am!”

I am is a much lighter loader to carry, and oh, so freeing.

This week think about what you might subtract from your life to free up energy – emotionally, physically, or psychologically. Naturally, creative discretion is yours – this doesn’t need to be a personal subtraction; global issues work too.

To participate, create a post on your own site and link back here. Or leave a comment. Looking forward to all responses.

Decisive Action

Life presents challenges and I stumble to keep up. Chronic illness continues to form the backdrop of my life, so it becomes the baseline for any actions I take. Ric and I made a commitment to our health and our community this year, and that means that I have been more physically active than usual. Since my envelope – capacity for energy – has not increased, I am called to make decisions.

Taking a break over Christmas was part of that process. Still, the emails continue to pile up and the number of unread posts becomes insurmountable. I am seeking a solution that simplifies my life once again. Here is what I’ve decided:

  • Posting less. For now, I am trying to post only once per day, alternating blogs (I have two). Longterm, I would like to achieve a device-free day.
  • Selective reading. Some of you wow me with your prolific creativity, and I try to follow and encourage, but it has become too much. In order to spread my attention across the blogging community, I will limit myself to one or two posts from a single source.
  • Scheduling posts in advance. I love the prompts, as witnessed by my weekly challenge. Keeping up with them all, however, just adds to my current stress. I will participate when possible, but preference will be given to pre-scheduling posts. It’s like buying a bit of security.

This forum for connecting means so much and I want to continue to grow my relationships. Would love to hear how you juggle it all.

Thanks to all who participated this week. I missed your unique insights. Nice to be back.

musingsofanoldfart
Eugi’s Causerie
I Write Her
Reena Saxena
parallax
Sgeoil
Stuff and what if…
CURATING THOUGHTS
HEAVEN’S SUNSHINE
one letter UP
Zebra’s Child
HEAVEN’S SUNSHINE (2)
bushboys world

See you tomorrow for a new challenge!