Habits: the Good & the Bad

Habit [NOUN]: A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

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Habits.

We all have them. Some are good, others are bad.

A couple of mine? I pick at my lips and stay up waaay too late.

One of my sons never, ever, ever closes drawers. And my other son is a dirty clothes artist–aka, he leaves his school clothes in rather artistic piles… always on his bedroom floor.

❤ (But on the flip side, one of them gives warm, fuzzy hugs regularly and the other reads whatever and whenever he can.) ❤

Often, we agonize over breaking bad habits.

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Recently my younger son stumbled into our bedroom at 2am. He’s eleven, so unless he or his brother are sick, they’re tucked in their beds between 9:30pm and 7am.

If you’re close to me, you know that I’m 95% human and 5% beast. My beast mode kicks in between midnight and 7am. No joke, my sister had to {carefully} wake me up on Christmas morning when we were kids. I do not do mornings unless provoked and/or coerced.

Anyway, Chase stumbles into our bedroom at 2am. “Can I sleep with you guys?”

“Grfghrgrlk?” We’ve never been big on the boys sleeping with us. As babies they did occasionally, and during illness as toddlers, but overall we keep our bed ours.

He tries his dad, who thankfully remains human in the deep, dark hours of the night. “Can I sleep in here?”

“Did you have a bad dream?”

“No, I just want to sleep in here.”

My wonderful human husband climbs out of bed, guides Chase back to his bedroom (which he shares with our older son), and lays down with him for several minutes. Thankfully Chase remains asleep and the night continues as normal.

Until the next night.

And the next night.

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“Waking up at 2am has become a habit.” I mention gently on the third day. He nods in understanding. He didn’t want to wake up, but couldn’t help it anymore.

At bedtime on the fourth evening, I asked about bad dreams again. None, he reassured me. We prayed and they got an extra long back scratch. Just as my hubby and I walked out, Chase unraveled from his blanket cocoon.

“Can you lay the clock down? It’s too bright and when I wake up it reminds me that I’m sleeping.”

Ah. The proverbial lightbulb flashed on.

A few days earlier, I purchased a small silver alarm clock for the boys’ room. Huge green letters filled the screen so that Cole could see it on his bookshelf, from his bed (his eyesight isn’t great, and he takes his glasses off at night).

So I laid the clock on its back, and sure enough, Chase slept through the night. And again the next night.

The bad habit was broken.

The situation got me thinking about habits. Bad ones, and good ones.

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NaNoWriMo 2017 has begun.

For those who don’t know, it’s a write-a-thon set during the month of November. “National Novel Writing Month.” Thousands of writers across the country (world?) pound out 50,000 words of a story by November 30th. You don’t have to finish the story, just the 50k words.

Some make it, some don’t. The point is to Write. Every. Single. Day.

I enjoy the camaraderie on social media and the internal & external incentive to get words on a page. NaNoWriMo always readjusts the good habit of writing every day.

{NO EDITING ALLOWED}

If you’re on this NaNoWriMo journey, best wishes on adjusting to this new, good habit. Figure out what helps you write better and faster (plotting beforehand, writing at night when your house is silent, consuming nine cups of coffee & an entire bag of M & M’s, etc…)

Then write. Because writers write.

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YOU. CAN. DO. THIS!

 

 

 

 

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Me, too…But then

You know what I’m going to say, don’t you?

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This post is a little different, though.

I’ve experienced situations with harassment and sexual advances that were totally unwarranted. Unwelcome and icky. Both occurred in high school.

The first was during PE, in a rowdy class of 10th & 11th graders. It began with leering looks from a boy no bigger than me, but determined. So determined. I avoided him when possible, because he was rough and lewd and all hands.

I’m thankful it ended before things grew worse.

The second situation occurred at my first official place of employment–Burger King, back in the day when Lion King toys stuffed the kids’ meals and customers paying via credit card was impossible.

(Wow, I’m dating myself terribly.)

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Anyway, a young man joined the crew a few months after I did. His verbal teasing and overlong looks turned quickly into a poke here, a grab there. Leering and innuendos that made me nauseous.

We’ll call him Joe.

*Good time to note I also met my future husband at Burger King.*

Joe enjoyed hiding in the walk-in cooler or behind corners then jumping out, scaring me. A couple of times, his hands were involved and his leering increased to uncomfortable levels.

I mentioned it to Trevor.

While washing trays in the huge silver sinks one day, water suddenly soaked my leg. A tight vise gripped my calf. I jumped back, nearly tripping, recognizing my tormentor below the sink, wielding one of the faucet handles (they stretched really far), spraying my uniform pants and grinning lecherously.

I’m sure I shouted something, because I’m not quiet and one of my pant legs was soaked.

I was ticked.

Trevor appeared, my knight-in-shining Burger King uniform.

I can still picture it as clear as it happened twenty-three years ago. Calm, steady Trevor reached down, dragged Joe to standing then held him out, his hand wrapped around Joe’s throat. He didn’t let go of his throat as Joe wiggled, jerking around like a rag doll, punching Trev in the face a couple of times to get him to let loose.

I don’t remember what was said or how long until the manager broke it up, but I’ll never forget the wild-eyed look of shock on Joe’s face when Trev finally dropped him.

He never bothered me again, and I’m so thankful I was a “me, too… but then.” ❤

Parents–let’s raise our boys (and girls) to honor and love the Lord and respect others. To be the “but then” makers in their lives. This starts in our own hearts and homes.

Because each person is Hand-Made and precious.

Meanwhile, there are so many women with far worse situations than I experienced. Jobs threatened or lost. Memories they wish could be erased and devious, hurtful actions that changed the course of their life. Broken hearts from betrayal of the worst kind.

I hope you know that God loves you and He can heal your hidden wounds.

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“The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

(Ps. 9: & 10)