Sunday, July 17, 2011

Creatures Of Habit

We are all creatures of habit, but what exactly does that mean?

First of all, we are creatures. We are animals. Although we are very advanced animals and are equipped with opposable thumbs; we are still made up of flesh and blood. In particular, our brains are complex evolved machines. Our brains regulate basic activities such as breathing and food intake, and also enable us to appreciate the finer things like The Who and Prince Fielder.

As creatures, we have needs. We need to eat, so therefore we eat. As rational and social creatures, we like to communicate with one another, and we do so in various fashions. There are a multitude of behaviors that are just as complicated. How do we possibly get all of this done?

That's where habits come in. Habits help us through our day. Habits are something that we do on a regular basis without much effort.

And we don't have just a few. We have dozens, maybe even hundreds. While some are bad, many habits are good. Thank goodness for those.

One of my habits is my morning ritual. Upon waking, I open the blinds and turn on Today’s TMJ4 and watch Susan Kim and Vince Vitrano do the news, making sure to avoid Scott Steele as much as possible. 

The operative word there was watch. That’s because while I am watching the news, I am also listening to the Wake Up Call with Bill Lawrence on AM 1050 WLIP. As Lawrence spins the money wheel and makes corny jokes, my morning ritual continues with me turning on my laptop. 

Once my computer is powered up, I start doing things in a very specific order; evidently there are habits hidden within my morning ritual, which is a habit in itself. Can that be good?

Back to my computer routine. While I wait for Outlook to open so I can check my emails, I check the temperature, using Dashboard. After I have checked my emails, it’s on to my blog, From The Booth.

When I get to my blog site, I immediately check on the number of visitors and then look to see if any of the blogs that I follow are new. My Good Babushka and One Little Polish Girl are two of my favorites. Hmm, could that be a coincidence?

Next up on the computer is a brief check of my fantasy baseball leagues, the Bada Bing! and JAGFBL. Then it’s a quick check to see how many people have looked at my book on Blurb and I’m off to the magical world of facebook.

In facebook, I look for new notifications, check for friends’ birthdays, spin for my daily game tokens and then refresh my news feed to see what I have missed while sleeping. 

When my facebook regiment is complete, it’s time to check the Kenosha News and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online newspapers. After catching up on the news, I go to Club Pogo and earn 2,000 tokens by doing the Daily Specials.

Finally, after all of that, the news is over, Lenny Palmer is threatening to take over the WLIP airwaves and my morning ritual is just about complete. 

Just about. 

I still have to shave, shower and do breakfast. That is how my morning ritual goes every day and always in that order. Always.

Unfortunately there is an important part of this morning ritual habit of mine that has been missing for quite a while.

Ritual has several definitions. One is “a series of actions or a type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone.” 

Well, I’ve got that aspect down pat, no problem.

Another definition is “a prescribed order of performing a ceremony, especially one characteristic of a particular religion or church.” 


That’s the part I need to work on. I need to make the habit of praying a more regular thing. I have been very negligent in this for quite awhile and that has got to change.

Until this creature of habit gets back into the good habit of making prayer part of his morning ritual, it will only be a bad habit.

Until next time…from the booth.


Gus Cox said...

That's something I also have been deficient in doing. I'm also aware of it and striving to do better.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

I think it's something that we can all work on. I know it helps me when I do. I hope we both do better, Gus!

Leplume said...

Sheesh, Paulie! You do more in your morning ritual than I do all day! Just kidding! But my morning routine usually consists of me waking up later than I should, running to get ready for work and making it in just in the nick of time! I'm lucky if I remember to grab my lunch. I used to try to watch the news but found I would get entranced and stare and then even more time would be wasted! I agree with the prayer though...these days I never seem to do that enough.