And so the year slips into November, drawing the covers up around its shoulders as it prepares to go to sleep for the winter. It's also time to add the next to the last habit to my days and to look back a bit and asses how well those other habits have been integrated into my life.
Clean the kitchen every night.
This is an easy one for me to integrate because .... way last winter when I selected these 12 habits I started cleaning the kitchen every night. As I wrote back then,
As soon as I'd written those words, though, I realized that it would be easy to just start doing this right away and now it's already a habit.And I was right. It's nice to walk into a spanking clean (at least as spanking clean as I can get it) kitchen and start making the morning coffee. There have been evenings when I've walked through the kitchen and thought "I'm too tired" but then the habit would pinch and I'd spend the few minutes to tidy things up. That is what a habit is for.
As I move into the holiday cooking time, it will be good to already be in the habit of cleaning up after myself. I expect it will make this stretch of time go much more smoothly.
As for the rest of my good habits - I must begin with a caveat. October has been a difficult month in spite of the many lovely events and pleasures that dotted the weeks. First off there is An Issue that needed to be dealt with - something I've dreaded - and, though I put on my big girl panties at last and peeled back the curtain, I was only able to let in some cleansing sunshine. It's better - but it's not done yet - and, alas, may never be done with - which is part of why this is such a difficult situation. Like humidity in the summer, this is something that will always have to be factored into the equation.
Also, we've been short staffed at work due to illness, making the work days feel sooooo long. In addition, I'm facing a huge staffing rearrangement - the consequence of time, as a senior staffer is retiring. I have been dreading and grieving over the shake-up because this particular team has worked so beautifully these past few years. Even though I can see wonderful developments arising from the staff alignment that's moving into place - I hate to see something old, successful and precious come to an end. Oh Yes. Then there was the storm. Yeah. Dread + Stress + Mild Grief = Difficult Month.
So I am cutting myself some serious slack on the habit forming stuff. Still, it is better to know how I've done before it all becomes a blur and I lose all the ground I've made this year
I have done so poorly at this I should give myself an F. Looking back at my track records I see I only tracked daily for one week. After that - once I had 'blown' it for the week ...usually by Saturday ... I just quit. Yes there was the 1200 calorie cheesecake (of which I ate only 1/2) and yes there was the wedding and the anniversary and the convention. Okay. So why am I so afraid to look at myself when I'm not being perfect? I think there is a serious SERIOUS issue here with self delusion. I want to see me as being a Good Girl and Not Making Mistakes and Knowing Better ... and a tracker that says I ate enough to feed a football team won't let me see that. But if I did eat that much, gosh - what's the point in saying "I did not write it down, so maybe I didn't really eat it" ... Like those jokes about Southern Virgins we told in the '60's. "I didn't get caught so I didn't do it..."
I think I need to come to peace with myself about what food and eating is all about and perhaps about why I am bothering to care about tracking and what I weigh and how I look and the entire body thing. I do care. I care because I want to be healthy. I care because I want to look good. But unfortunately I also care because I want to be a Good Girl but I want the food that makes me feel like a Bad Girl.
There's a focus on the wrong things and I am going to have to do some serious thinking, some deep soul searching, and realign the focus onto the positive issues. In fact - I need to get comfortable seeing me overeat - because I promise you, when I overeat I refuse to acknowledge it till later - in short - I won't look at me doing something I think I should not do ... even if I do it. I need to get comfortable looking at all of me if I ever want to get along with all of me - instead of getting blindsided by the chocolate-candy-eating me. It's time for the Left Brain School Marm to have a little chat with the Right Brain Wild Child and see if they can start working together again.
And so, even if my actual tracking activity earned such a low grade - the fact that I have explored what was going on before November got into full swing earns me a low, but passing grade this month - a D+
All the traveling I did this month interrupted my beloved weekly schedule and I missed weight training several times - but I got in lots of other activity - frequently deliberately substituted for the tried and true. I will give myself a B+
Drink 6-8 cups of water every day
The Charles Schwab list at work
I couldn't have made it through the month without that. There were a few days when I forgot and it just made things SO bad that I could not really function. It earns a B+
Read my 5-year play every
Which I did till last week and this - and I will blame that on travel and hurricanes and give myself a C
Compliment someone on my staff every day
Draw 20 minutes a day. I will never get any better if I don't practice every day
Surprisingly - I've kept up with this fairly well. I am not drawing every day because I am painting some too - and working on a 'project' that has kept my art supplies spread out on the dining room table all month. This has earned me an A-
Select a big life goal - a big personal thing - and take one step towards it ... every day.
Okay - this is a tricky bit. If I want to be fit and slim and healthy and to develop my artistic skills ... all specific Previously Mentioned Habits and I do something towards even one of those Previously Mentioned Habits, then ... have I also fulfilled This Habit? Uh. The operative word is Select because if it's a habit did I select it? Well. My intention when I wrote these habits was to be conscious of my efforts and deliberate, not just lucky. In light of the Other Challenges of this month I will give myself a C
Ditto at work - Same issue - same grade C
You can be sure I have done one heck-uva-lotta praying this month - praying for courage, praying for wisdom, praying for the storm to miss us - but not the daily thing I should have done and again - not the deliberate and scheduled way I intended when I first plotted out this scheme of habit forming behavior. But though I did not pray at scheduled times, my prayers were not just the plea for pleasure selfish ones. There was enough of the true prayer this month to justify a grade of B+