Everyone has bad habits. None of us are comfortable hearing about them from others. From our childhood, we are conditioned to believe that we have to break all our bad habits. The other day I was talking to a friend of mine whose kids are in school. She was telling me about her kids’ bad habits like not eating vegetables, always playing computer games, and so on. After that phone call, I decided to go through my present habits (I don’t know about you, but my habits have changed with time), and find out the ‘bad’ ones, if any!
When I told my husband and kids that I am going to blog about my ‘bad’ habits, they seemed to be very happy and excited! They were even ready to give ‘valuable’ inputs. I could not figure out the reason behind their excitement. Maybe they thought that I would make a public confession and completely change to this newly transformed woman of their dreams. Anyway, I didn’t tell them about the second part of the title of this post!
I made a list of all my habits and selected the following top 5 ‘bad’ ones that my family keeps complaining about. But I don’t want to break them because I value my mental stability more than anything else!
Habit #1 – Ordering food for my family members in a restaurant: This happens usually when we are in a hurry. Everyone knows time is precious. Whenever we go to a restaurant, my husband and kids start staring at the menu card as soon as they get it. Their facial expressions are as if they are trying to apply some complex mathematical formula to derive a numerical solution and arrive at what to order! Even if the menu has only four items like say, Dosa, Idli, Upma, and Poori, they take a minimum of 20 minutes! Even assuming they apply permutations-and-combinations formulae to decide, I feel they shouldn’t be taking so much time. After all, everyone in the family has done Maths in high school!
The poor waiter eagerly hangs around 2 to 3 feet from our table. From the gestures of my family, he assumes we are ready to order and comes close to the table only to be disappointed. And this whole process repeats two or three times. Finally, to help the defenseless soul, I order for the 4 of us, one each of the ONLY 4 items on the menu card! And they want to change this ‘bad’ habit of mine!
What I really don’t understand is why they are so affected despite my timesaving act! Daily I am the one who prepares breakfast to dinner for everyone at home, and that too without a menu. I believe we should use or waste our precious time wisely. I don’t want to break this habit of mine because time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters!
Habit #2 – Unwilling to Share My Kitchen: I don’t like to share my kitchen when I am cooking — for no specific reason. Also, I have a peculiar characteristic that if I get very angry, I cannot utter a single word. To be more specific, on a 1-to-5 scale if my anger is at 5, I go into a speechless state. As the degree comes down I regain my speaking capability, and by the time I reach 1, I can speak fluently and my ‘vocabulary’ increases too.
Now, if someone enters my kitchen when I am busy cooking, I get angry. Because cooking needs focus and care, I am not in the mood for small talk, and on top of that, I value the ‘quality’ time I spend in my kitchen.
I also get angry if my family doesn’t turn up for lunch or dinner as soon as I set the table. Fortunately or unfortunately, in both these scenarios, I am mostly at level 1 or 2 on the scale, so naturally, I am in my ‘voluble’ state. And the rest becomes history!
Now, how can getting angry, which is a normal human emotion, and letting off a bit of steam by speaking my mind be a ‘bad’ habit? Bottling up anger is what leads to serious health conditions in the long run! So as far as possible I try to limit myself to level 1 or 2 on the scale. I don’t want to break this ‘bad’ habit of mine because health is wealth!
Habit #3 – Rearranging furniture often: I am very fond of interior decoration; I have a habit of rearranging furniture every now and then. I always tell my rooms, ‘don’t be the same, be better’! So I tend to try different arrangements with the same set of furniture, especially in the living room. How can this be a ‘bad’ habit?
My family members are always absorbed in the digital world. So most of the time I have to explicitly ask each one of them for their opinion about the new interior arrangement before they realize something has changed. Sometimes only while trying to settle themselves on a habitual piece of furniture and getting a rude shock do they come to know that I have done some rearrangements. 🙂 They do not even bother to spare a second from their ‘digital-gadget-gazing’ to check whether the expected seat is in its position!
There is a famous saying: ‘Creativity is intelligence having fun.’ Instead of appreciating my creativity they get irritated about the relocated furniture and promptly add it to the ‘bad’-habit list! I think digital distraction kills creativity and sometimes intelligence too.
I don’t want to break this habit because change is the only constant!
Habit #4 – Laughing after cracking a joke: Everyone knows, ‘laughter is the best medicine’, so then how can people include that quality of mine in the ‘bad’-habit list? I can’t resist laughing after hearing a joke even if I am the one joking. How can others expect me to show partiality about such things! After all, laughter is an instinctive and spontaneous expression of amusement. I think other’s brains need a little extra time to process my jokes and so they take more time to start laughing. But mine is quicker, so I am the one who always laughs first! Sometimes when I am about to tell a joke I can’t control myself from laughing which in turn doesn’t allow me to complete, or sometimes even start, the joke! My audience at home is not very happy about this. I am really helpless because for me holding my breath is easier compared to holding my laughter, that too for a classic joke!
I don’t want to (can’t) break this habit because laughing is always the best form of therapy!
Habit #5 – Loss of mental balance at the very sight of a cluttered room: If I happen to see a room in utter chaos I feel like my head is going to explode. I always make time to keep my home in order. But the inmates of my home religiously do some magic daily to convert it back to a cluttered and chaotic one. They say I suffer from ‘Compulsive Cleaning Disorder’! How can the urge to keep rooms in order be a ‘disorder’?! My kids tell me these days not to enter their room as it is ‘not organized neatly’, and if at all I do enter then it’s at my own risk!
I do declutter my home often. While organizing my wardrobe, kitchen, and storeroom, I have the policy of ‘discarding everything that does not spark joy’ in me! I am just too lazy to look for things. Anyway, to make way for the new I have to let go of the old. After all, the home is a living space, not a storage space. I don’t think anyone will ever regret organizing their home.
I don’t want to break this habit because Benjamin Franklin once said for every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.
Even though my family considers these as bad habits, for me, these are good qualities. I am good at all of them too. Either I have to break these habits or others have to change their perspective. If they change the way they look at things, the things they look at also change. As simple as that! Breaking any habit needs effort and time. Both are precious and so I have to use them carefully and waste wisely.
What are your habits that you think are ‘bad’ and the ones your family considers is ‘bad’? Which are the ones that you do not want to break and why? Please share them, so collectively we can support each other by exchanging and replacing our habits. 🙂
‘I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.’ – Mother Teresa
Happy Empty Nesting! 🙂