Bad habits… is that really what they are?

An image with two pieces of paper, and the words 'bad' and 'good' written on it, to go with the post about bad habits.

In the introduction of the post where I stated my goals for 2021, I touched on my ‘bad habits’, but didn’t mention what they are. I think we all have bad habits, even though we sometimes don’t want to admit it to ourselves.

Some rituals, but not bad habits

I do have some rituals, but I don’t see them as bad habits, or even remotely annoying. Some of them are actually good habits, such as my ritual to take all my tablets every evening before I go to bed. It might be that Master T sees this as an annoying habit, as he’s not one for taking supplements and to self-medicate.

I take quite a number of tablets, but only one of them is prescribed by the doctor. The others are because I feel I need them, such as hair vitamins, cod liver oil tablets, pregnenalone for the hot flashes caused by menopause and a tablet to activate the natural melatonin in my brain, and help me to sleep. This means every evening before bedtime, I chew on those gummy bears (hair vitamins), and take 5 other tablets with my last drink.

There is this one ritual I have when I am tired and have to walk somewhere. I count. With each step I set, I count. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. And again… one, two, three, four.

Never more than four. Back when I did hiking trips, and in the time I did De Vierdaagse, I did a lot of this counting, especially towards the end of the day, when I was tired and desperately in need of some rest. The counting pulled me through.

This counting started when I was in the army, during my basic training where we were drilled to the point we didn’t even know we existed anymore. It’s a habit I never lost, even after 26 years!

I do have bad habits, though!

Like anyone else, I do have bad habits. Some but not all of them are:

* Postponing chores: In my head I always have these huge plans on things I want to do in the house, chores that needs to be done, but I am an expert in postponing them until I can’t anymore. It’s not that the house is one big mess, and it’s definitely easier to keep up with things now that it’s only the two of us, but still some things are just left ‘until tomorrow’, and tomorrow is postponed over and over again. That said, there comes a moment where I just do what I know I have to do, so I guess not all is lost in the end!
* Not saying ‘no’: I am the only one who is ‘victim’ to this, but I do get annoyed at myself if once more I didn’t say no, while I know I should’ve. Over the years, I have taught myself to say ‘let me think about it’, when I am asked to do something, but there are still times I return to my default to say ‘yes’, and only think later that I should’ve said ‘no’.
* Eating and drinking: On the one hand I am an emotional eater, eating sweets and ‘bad’ stuff when I feel down, but I also have this bad habit of forgetting to eat, and putting other things ahead of taking care of myself. Sometimes I only realize I had not eaten by the time I am so nauseous that I have difficulty eating. Something else that is definitely a bad habit is drinking. No, it’s not that I am drunk every day, and I don’t even drink every day, but we do drink three of the seven nights a week, and during holidays we tend to drink every day. I would like to cut back on this, but then again… it’s not like I drink until I am drunk, and I never have any difficulty to say no to an alcoholic drink. So I guess, no harm done?

Computer time… also bad?

I work 34 hours a week, all of them at the computer and since we are in lockdown, most of them are at home, at my desk. When I log off at 4pm on my working days, I remove my work laptop from my desk, pull my own laptop closer and continue working, but then for myself. I take a break for dinner, then continue until about 7.30pm and only then move away from the computer. This means that I am at my computer about 12-13 hours every day.

On weekends it’s the same amount of time, as I then start later but also end later, and of course then only ‘work’ for myself. But, is this really too much time I spend at the computer, if I enjoy what I do? And is it really a bad habit if it doesn’t annoy Master T, or myself for that matter?

To be honest, if I didn’t have so much computer time, I would never have been able to be as productive as I am. And here I don’t mean only this blog, Wicked Wednesday and Blogable, but also in my work. My manager frequently says: I wish there were two of you, and I see that as a compliment, and a confirmation that my output is high and satisfactory.

Just who I am?

I look over the things I have mentioned as bad habits, and the question crossed my mind: are those not just things that are part of who I am? Like when I postpone those chores… they do happen in the end, so it’s not like I never do them. I just always seem to find something else that’s just a bit more important than the chores, until they move to the top of the list.

Not always being able to say no… it’s part of my character, and the fact that I am aware of it already helps me to say ‘let me think about it’ just a bit more frequently. And then, the computer time… I am dedicated to what I do, and that can’t be a bad thing, right?

I think many times the things we see as bad habits might not even be that at all, but just part of who we are! Your thoughts?

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

4 Thoughts or Fiction

17 thoughts on “Bad habits… is that really what they are?

  1. I have the same bad habits that you have (procrastination and difficulty saying no). I admire your way of planning (bad/no planning is another bad habit of mine).
    I also use my computer a lot and use it in the evenings and weekends. Only my mix of work and private life is very mixed. I don’t mind (at least I can live with it 🙂 ).
    From what I read you can also live with your ‘bad habits’.
    PS your computer time provides us with some nice readings on your site, thank you!

    1. I can definitely live with my bad habits… which might mean they are not as bad after all. And I procrastinate for a while, and then I just jump in and DO things, and am always surprised that it took me quicker to do it than the total time I have procrastinated 😉

  2. I agree. I am not sure these are bad habits if you see them as being part of who you are. Sometimes they are traits or preferences. A bad habit suggests to me something which you want to stop but do without thinking. I am not sure. It was an interesting post whatever and I enjoyed reading. Thanks. Missy x

    1. I like your definition of a bad habit, and if I look at it in that way, the things I have mentioned are not bad habits. Now you got me thinking if I have a bad habit or two… xox

  3. Yes what constitute a bad habit is a matter of opinion. I found the counting very interesting and can see how that may pull you through situations or tiredness. I have a stress mechanism of saying a prayer over and over in my head. Like it is on repeat. It has got me thru some tough times thou – so where’s the harm?
    May xx

    1. Indeed, there is no harm in that. We can count and pray as much as we want, if that’s what help us, right?! xox

  4. Counting your steps is intresting… it seems you and I aren’t the only ones to do this! In my head I estimate how many steps , or paddles or songs or anything ,that I might take to get where I’m going. Sometimes I find myself stretching or taking shorter steps to fulfill my prediction. Are we crazy😜

  5. Ha! I have a ritual of counting my steps too. Lol. Always to 4 then I start again. I’ve never met another who did this (and I can’t say I’ve ever asked), but think it’s neat that I’m not the only one 🙂
    As for the computer, you’re not the only one. The only way it’s “bad” is if your posture isn’t good. Do what makes you happy.

    1. This is so funny. I always thought I was the only one who did this. Haha I’m actually glad I’m not.
      Thankfully I have a good chair at my desk, so then I guess my computer time is not as bad as I thought it was 😉

  6. I am loving these bad habit confessional posts.
    Marie I love that you count your steps! Ben always laughs at me because if we run together, when I am starting to struggle, I start counting. But I count to eight. I do it to get into a rhythm and get my breathing under control. I always assume that I am struggling because I am not getting enough oxygen to my muscles, so I always feel as if I need to concentrate on my breathing to correct that. I do the same thing if we are hiking and a climb is steep – I have to concentrate on my breathing to keep my pace up.

    1. That actually makes sense, the counting to get your breathing under control. I might have to try it when I have another panic attack, and feel like I am going to choke!

  7. I wonder if the way we phrase something makes it more powerful. If we call something a “bad habit” does the feeling that it is wrong reinforce it in our actions?

    As far as saying No goes, there is an excellent YouTube video that revolutionised my desire to please others. (Apologies for the swearing)

    1. I think you are onto something here, N. If we label something a ‘bad habit’ we might indeed just give it more power than we should. And sometimes those things we see as bad habits, might not be that at all. I will definitely watch the video, thank you 🙂 xox

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