Good writing, with a strong point and with life oozing out.

On Habits

July 17, 2006

In the morning light of a bright Saturday (ok, so maybe it was afternoon), while driving to Dunkin’ Donuts, I started thinking about my various addictions. About how my recent, mild deprivations were suggestive of the things I have a hard time living without each day. Namely: fast web access, music, a few pages of a good book, two clean, strong cups of coffee first thing in the morning (preferably accompanied by 30 minutes of silence), a little TV, a bit of simple food, and something sweet. I thought about how these aren’t necessarily bad things (though a few are debatable…). And then I thought about how – though they feel like necessities— I don’t actually enjoy them very much. I mean, I might indulge every day, but (perhaps because I do) they don’t seem to add much joy. In fact, even during our time here I have been able to grab a few of these things—a candy bar, say, or a TV show, or a mediocre cup of coffee before everyone wakes up—and they are fun, but not fulfilling. The fact that I’ve missed them, and looked forward to them, only makes their realization feel more hollow.

On the other hand, I thought, the things that feel like obligations—feeding babies, changing diapers, administering meds, calming a screaming baby—are the very things that actually bring me joy and fulfillment.

And then, on my way back with the coffee, I thought that I’d better revisit these noble thoughts at 2 am when the kids are having a pooping/yelling contest.

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2 Responses to “On Habits”

  1. Deanna says:

    Hmmm… I’m sitting here in a quiet house with a cup of coffee – one baby asleep and the other off at preschool – and was feeling pretty content and serene until I read this. Now I just feel shallow. Thanks a lot, Mike.


  2. WMS says:

    haha… that’s a funny posting… you always need to write those when you’re tired so you’re more realistic, right?

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