Habits are really hard to break. It doesn’t matter how many tricks you read about, it doesn’t matter if there’s a “change your habits in 28 days… or your money back”. You may as well ask for the money back now, because habits are hard to break. Now, that is not to say that they are impossible and you’re stuck with it forever.. but it’s going to take work.
I know someone who every time he walks past the kitchen he opens the refrigerator. He is constantly surprised by this fact. He could have just finished eating dinner and just walks into the kitchen to throw away a piece or paper.. he opens the refrigerator. He can be walking through to head up to his bedroom or to the bathroom.. opens the refrigerator. It drives him insane. He doesn’t even mean to, it just happens. It’s a habit.
I know someone else who has to have the TV on at all times. She walks into the house and automatically turns on the TV, whether or not there is something she wants to watch or not she turns it on and scans or searches or just keeps it on for background. This inevitably causes her to sit and watch instead of doing things on her “to-do” list, but it’s a habit. She doesn’t think about it, she just does.
I saw a meme on social media today about how parents are advised to put something “important” in the backseat with their babies as to not forget them, and people are going crazy, “what is more important than your baby!”.. but this is not about important, this is about habit. People so commonly do things out of habit they sometimes are at a detriment to themselves or their loved ones.
One man eats when he’s not hungry. One woman sits mindlessly watching TV. One parent drives to work on auto-pilot forgetting that it’s his/her day to drop the baby at daycare. All are important, some just have a more immediate result. All are the result of habits. Drug abuse is often called a “habit” and to a certain extent it is. When someone starts to feel a certain way they turn to what has worked in the past.. their “habit” for feeling better.
There are good habits and obviously there are horrible habits. All are easier to create than to make. So when you see something that says, “break habits in 28 days” what it’s really saying is create new habits.. that is possible.. but again.. not all habits are good, and even good habits designed to take the place of bad habits are not as easy to make/break. If you want to make it a habit to take off your shoes every time you walk into a house.. sure, a month later it may just be ingrained in your head, you may not even think about it. Your neuro-pathways have been sparked and you have reminded yourself enough that it’s habit. Same as your drive to work.. it’s auto-pilot.
If you want to stop yourself from looking in the fridge, or get yourself into a new exercise routine, or find better ways of coping with problems than drugs.. that’s going to take time. That’s going to take more than reminding yourself for a couple weeks. That’s going to take creating a new sense of self.. because those habits are linked to your personality, your ego. Those habits are part of what makes you you and how you see yourself as a person.
If you want to break major bad habits you have to decide that you are not a person who does these things. You are a non-smoker. You are a healthy person. You are strong. Because the moment you are a fat person trying to act differently your brain stops listening. The moment that you are an addict trying to be better.. you’ll have all the excuses why you it is who you are. You can’t go to the gym.. you’re too fat, people will laugh. It’s ok if you eat the cake.. you’re fat.. and everyone else is. It’s ok if you use again today… all your friends are and you don’t want to lose your friends.
You are not those things. You are a being that inhabits a body. You are whatever you tell yourself that you are. If you decide that you are healthy and are only going to do healthy things, and keep that in your mind, your heart, and your self.. your ego will evolve. Your habits will form. New habits, based on who you decide that you are. If you are an excuse… then you’ll never run out of those.
“I’m going to create a giant motor out of metal, that can carry a giant metal cylinder in the air and fly on it”.. imagine how crazy that must have sounded. Now, obviously when the Wright brother’s first created a plane it wasn’t nearly as fancy and mostly made of wood and pullies, but you get the idea. The thought of flight was absurd, but now we’re crisscrossing around the world in breaking the sound barrier.. cuz that’s a thing.
As I sit in my office with the a/c blasting because it’s a million degrees out I cam very thankful that Willis Carrier for figuring out a way to create yet another metal box of mysterious powers that can use chemicals to cool off entire buildings and cars.. which in and of themselves are incredible.
People often talk about man made inventions but they don’t really talk about the amazing imagination that comes behind those creations. I was driving to work one day sitting in traffic and I was struck by the fact that not only did someone figure out that crude oil can be turned into gasoline, and that gasoline can be used to run giant engines that can move people and objects thousands of miles, but the cars themselves are made up of the same crude oil, metals, and sand that has been on this planet since the beginning of time.
The mobile phones that we talk on… who am I kidding.. that we text on and surf on and watch movies on are also made of crude oil and metals from the ground.. how in the Hell did anyone figure that out. If someone from today was somehow transported back.. even few hundred years ago and talk about the everyday toys we use today they would be locked up and probably given drugs and shock treatment for insanity. If they brought back a fully charged cell phone and played a downloaded movie they would be burned at the stake for witchcraft.
The ideas that come from the imaginations of normal people have changed the entire world, and at this point parts of the solar system, and only expanding from there. In fact there has yet to be an idea that has been proven to be not possible.. maybe a cure for a disease hasn’t happened but we’re close.. maybe we can only GO INTO SPACE a short way.. but we have been in f****n SPACE. If humanity has proven anything it is that we are amazing and capable beings.
So, the next time you’re hear the thoughts inside your head saying anything about you is stupid, or wrong, or incapable.. I want you to think about the fact that you are sitting in a house with windows that are still made from really over heated sand.. and tell me that there is anything that is not possible in this world.
I don’t know how we make things happen. I don’t know if it’s random change.. a God of your choice.. or we’re living in the Matrix, but when I look around this world I see the most amazing things.. some of them natural, some of them “man made” but all of them created out of nothing but possibility and patience. If you know.. I mean really know what you want in life.. then you also know how to get it.. you just have to be willing to do the work.
How often do we find ourselves holding on to some past slight with both hands as if letting go would prove to be a sign of weakness? How often do we feel as though we need to validate every action that we take as proof that we are better than some bugger from our past treated us?
I look around at this world, at social media, at the news and I find it very difficult to see the good that I know is out there. It seems that everyone has their chip on their shoulder or their person or group or reason to blame for something not going right in their life, or their happiness not being met.
I started following a single parent group on social media and every post that they put up was some sort of male bashing, I am woman hear me roar, cliche… Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for girl power, but not at the sake of half the population, and not all single parents are women. I, personally, was raised by a single dad who belonged to that same organization.
When I commented as such and that we shouldn’t be placing blame on any specific side, the moderator responded, “well, it can be used for men too”. That wasn’t the point. Firstly, none of the posts were about men, and secondly, most of the time when a marriage falls apart there is not one side to blame. Most of the time there is plenty of blame to go around so to have a support group who posts things that fan the flames of anger seems the opposite of support.
Part of growing is understanding what we have done wrong in our past. It’s understanding our faults and our mistakes and missteps so we can learn to avoid them in the future. If we spend all of our time ranting in our “support” groups about how we were wronged, or how every bad thing that happened fell upon the shoulders of another, then we are no more prepared for our next journey than we were for our last.
When I think of empowerment I do not think of all the ways that we are better than someone else. I do not think of all the things that we can and should be doing to bring down another person or group. I think of ways that we should raise ourselves and each other up. We do not need to steps on the heads of our perceived enemies in order to rise, we just need to give each other a hand or a leg up.
There is plenty of anger and resentment in this world, and it doesn’t actually help anyone. This isn’t just a male/female issue either, it’s time we let go of all of it. That bully from 3rd grade probably either doesn’t remember you so it’s not worth letting them have power over you now, or had more issues in his life than you could have in a lifetime and didn’t know how to express is. That teacher that made learning impossible was one year… how many years ago? Your parents… oh God.. your parents were a mess.. yup.. they were human. They made mistakes. They made poor choices… maybe they were straight up a**holes, but who cares? I mean really… they messed up enough of your years as a child, now you are the adult and you have the ability to make your own choices. Are you going to be one of those adults, like your parents, who constantly makes the wrong ones, or are you going to step up and learn from those mistakes.
I see so many people who make excuses about why they can’t hold jobs, or have good relationships, or be good parents, and usually it’s because of how someone treated them in the past. How does that make any sense? You are telling me that you have the right to be a loser.. because your parents were losers and you hated them for it? Umm… not to sound to harsh, but grow up.. live YOUR life. Tomorrow your parents will be gone, that bully will be a memory, and those feelings… they can either percolate and control your future, or they can be released.. and you can understand that no one, not even parents or teachers, are perfect. That we all have our demons. We all make our own choices based on our own limited experiences… which experiences do you want to shape your life? Which life do you want to grow?
I’m sure that you’ve all heard about the infamous Katy Perry kiss, and there is a lot of opinions being circulated around what happened. Many people are comparing it to the #metoo movement, others are saying that he should feel lucky because who wouldn’t want to be kissed by Katy Perry. My opinion is, our opinions don’t matter.
This man, who was over the age of 18, made a clear decision to wait until he was in a relationship to have his first kiss. He made it very clear. There was no confusion on anyone’s part. He spoke about how he comes from a very conservative background and that in his heart he felt that was the right thing for him. Then Ms. Perry took it upon herself to cross that boundary.. as a joke.
Now a lot of people feel that it was just a kiss, or that he should be lucky that it was Katy Perry, and he tried to play it off, but you could see that it really rattled him. Even his comment about “was it good” was blown of as him being “cocky” but in his mind it was a real question. His first kiss was going to be something special.
Since then Mr Glaze has come out and said that he didn’t feel as if it was sexual harassment and that also is his opinion and he is entitled to it, but I feel as if this is an important conversation to be had. Why do people feel that just because something isn’t a big deal to them that it gives them the right to ruin, ridicule, or invade someone else?
Many have pointed out that had it been reversed and a young 19 year old girl had her first kiss “stolen” by a middle aged man (she is 33) then it wouldn’t have been as cute or as funny. #metoo is not a movement for just women. It is a movement for creating a dialog about what is and isn’t appropriate in a society that has deemed casual sex to be the norm and the swiping of a profile picture as an invitation to intercourse.
Maybe he did feel harassed at the time and has since recanted his original statement because of the belittling and bulling the messaged has received on the internet. Maybe it was just an “uncomfortable” moment that he will look fondly on after he finally gets his “real” first kiss. Either way this moment needs to be understood for what it was, and his feelings need to be valued.
Truth is a complicated concept to grasp. That has never been more obvious than in today’s world of “fake news” in which case every side is claiming they are in the right, but to know what is truth? This is even more important in our personal lives. We all have these truths about ourselves, our family, our friends, our spouses.. but where do these “truths” come from.
My son was watching a cartoon… (yes.. he does that a lot.. no judgement.. it’s been snowing….. A LOT I’d never get anything done!) and the kids in the show were caught lying and were sat down and told to never lie. That lying hurts every situation and that it’s just bad to lie in general. Of course this backfired, and the kids just walked around saying what ever they were thinking, up to and including telling people they stink, they’re ugly, their cooking tastes bad.. what have you. So now the teachers had to try a new tactic and tried explaining that sometimes it’s ok to lie and sometimes it’s not and there are reasons for lying and for not.. and so on.
This seemed a bit crazy for my 5 year old to grasp so I put down my sponge, and sat with him for a minute to ask him about lying and give my perspective. I explained that lying was when you didn’t tell the truth in order to keep yourself from getting in trouble, but that telling someone things that may hurt their feelings just for the sake of it isn’t being truthful it’s just being mean.
I asked him some scenarios. I asked him about spilling his drink, and hiding his dinner.. then I asked about calling someone ugly. He said that wasn’t a truth. I asked him why he said that.. his response was one that took me decades to figure out.
“A truth is telling something that was done or someone said. Just because you think someone’s ugly doesn’t make it true.”
And that was it.. perspective.. just because you think something doesn’t make it true. Just because you may have been told that you’re stupid, or ugly, or fat, or a failure doesn’t make it true. Just because you think that someone is the only one for you.. or some job is the only thing that can make you happen.. doesn’t make it true. Truth is action. Truth can’t be challenged.
You think you’re a failure. Have you never won anything? Even a game of UNO? You think you’re unlovable. Have you never been loved, by you mom, your ex… that guy in 7th grade math class? People spend a lit of time deciding what their truth is.. instead of using actions to create a real truth.
We did it! It is officially women’s day in the year of women. It only took thousands of years of giving birth to every person to ever be born to get recognition. I mean don’t get me wrong it doesn’t change anything. We still don’t have equal pay, or reproductive rights.. and we still “deserve” to be raped if we wear the wrong outfit.. and we still get hassled for any choice we make in our lives, whether we choose to work or not.. have kids or not.. and so on.
The craziest part of the whole thing is that we are not actually a minority. We make up up more than 50% of the population. There is no reason for this. We are the ones who raise the future generation. We are the ones that teach boys and men how to treat others. How is this the norm? Well, sadly we tend to think of ourselves as competition instead of being each other’s biggest champions.
I read through all the posts and memes today, and all the women screaming for themselves. I saw how McDonald’s switched their sign around to commemorate Women. I saw how everyone was talking about the things that men need to do to help women, and all of that is great. I agree, men need to take their sticks out of their asses and acknowledge that women are just as strong, smart, and competent as men, but what’s more important is that women have to encourage each other.
It’s great that we’re marching, but what we really need to do is start shopping at women owned businesses. We need to start hiring each other.. and promoting each other.. and voting for each other. I’m not saying vote for someone just because they are a woman. Sarah Palin is a woman and no one should vote for her, but if you know that there is a candidate on the ticket.. look into her. Even if it’s a name you never heard of, look into her.
When you see a mom having trouble, give her a hand. When you have a coworker in your office don’t make her your enemy.. be happy for her if she gets a promotion. Befriend her, learn from her, teach her.. grow together. If we expect men to come around and treat us with respect we need to show them how it’s done. We are the mothers of the world. If we can teach other’s how to respect who will?
Just a little story I thought I would share to add some perspective. I had a routine doctor’s appointment last week. Nothing special, just a check up. As I was sitting in the waiting area a man started to talk to me. I didn’t think anything of it. I understand how boring a waiting room could be. It started with the normal small talk about waiting rooms and over scheduled appointments and I was polite and direct in my answers. I thought that I was pretty clear that I was just being cordial and not looking for the conversation to go any further… but…
As we sat there, stuck in a room, waiting for the nurse to call us in he escalated the conversation. He started telling me how cute I was. How he’s just looking for a nice girl. He started asking personal things about my life, which I dodged as clearly as I could. I lied when he pressed me on where I live. I lied and told him that I was married. I started messaging people on my phone to show him that I was otherwise engaged in other conversation. I was already sitting as far away from him as I could, but still leaned further in the other direction.
He pressed on, “Would your husband be mad if he knew you were talking to me? Is he going to get jealous?”. Really? I’m just here to get my blood pressure and ears checked.. and whatever else comes along with this check up. I really don’t need this while I’m trapped in a room alone with a stranger.
I know a lot of men would probably respond to my post as, “what? he’s just being friendly, if you didn’t like it you didn’t have to respond”, but as most women know not responding can sometimes escalate things even further.. then these “friendly men” can start calling you names and can become aggressively attentive in an attempt to make you the problem.
I was messaging with my brother at the time and thankfully he is not one of those neanderthal men who assume that women should be grateful for attention of any kind. He understood that I was uncomfortable. He asked me if I had a clear way to leave the building and I told him that I help my keys out as I walked and cleared the elevator before I got in. I made sure that the man was not in the hallway when I stepped into the elevator, as it would be too easy for him to jump in after me.
Now I know what you’re thinking. This all seems crazy. I am clearly a super paranoid women who hates men. But this is the thing that men don’t understand. This is our thought process. I have no problem with men. I have many male friends. I was raised by a single dad and have a brother whom I love. I have a nephew and a son.. and as a child mostly played with my 2 boy cousins until the one girl cousin I had came around when I was 7. I am very comfortable around men. I have worked in male dominated fields. I have often been “one of the guys” due to office dynamics as well as hobbies that I have (I’m a bit of a geek). Men, as a species, don’t intimidate me. However, as a woman I understand that not all men are like my brother or my best friend. Not all men have the same understanding of women’s personal space and boundaries.
Men joke about situations like being ok with gay guys as long as they don’t hit on them, or “don’t say things to women that you wouldn’t want your cellmate to say to you” and there’s a reason for that. Men understand that sometime other men don’t take no for an answer. They know what they and their friends are like with women and they wouldn’t want to be put in a situation like that. They wouldn’t want to be stuck in a room with an overly attentive man with no idea where the situation could take them or the feeling of having to possibly defend themselves physically. No one likes that feeling, but that feeling is exactly the part of the “me too” message that is getting lost.
When women talk about how we feel harassed in our everyday lives. How we have been forced to deal with things that make us feel unsafe or pressured it doesn’t just mean the times that we are raped, or felt up. Harassment isn’t just about the p***y grabbing and penetration. Harassment is being made to feel unsafe for no other reason than because you are who you are. Whether it be you’re a woman, a person of color, or part of the lbgtq movement if you are not a member of the “group in power” you are vulnerable, and the only way we can gain our power is to stick together and support each other.