To habituate oneself, habituate like the french habitué which is closely: to reside. Boy, do I love words, but more on that for another day.
So today, it’s another read, and my — not — very illuminating thoughts that mostly centre around clichés like this one right here; did you know habits form character?
Hell, even three-year-olds know that one.
From “Don’t chew with your mouth open”, to “Don’t pick your nose”, to “Don’t suck your thumb”, to “Always say please, and thank you”, all well and good habits to pick up from a young age, firstly because it is the way, and secondly because you might want to hold off on causing offence until you get to the more serious topics like; politics, sex and religion. Basically, the ‘don’t break the status quo’ habits.
And then there are those other habits, the ones they say are for your own benefit, “eating right”, “reading more”, “exercising regularly”, “deleting all traces of unflattering Instagram selfies”. That last one was for me. But these are the habits that are the favourite cliché of the “made-it-in-life” and the “self-made”, who convince us that the reason they have passed through life’s challenges relatively unscathed, is through their sheer discipline in keeping to these ‘their’ habits. And so we are to self-flagellate because aren’t habits just the sure path to character-defining success?
Lately though, I noticed a negative little — actually downplaying a big — raincloud sized burden on the back of my keeping to some of my habits. I have of-course bought into some of these life habits, maybe not really out of choice but because I too must accomplish said goals in life. Don’t get me wrong, this is all beginning to sound like the inner-workings of a person who hates the ordered and methodical. I promise, I don’t. What I do now realise is that I might have gone overboard on being ordered and methodical to no particular effect (I can see my Parent’s nodding in “I-told-you-so”).
On the back of my read which was a tweet by academic and poet Clint Smith, an account I follow for its vocal support on black issues, I was drawn back to the events of the US Opens Women’s singles finals.
Back on that field, as a longtime tennis champion, Serena Williams could simply have stuck to the script, stuck to the order of the play on that day. Instead, she took the burden of breaking the mould. That simple shift could be of greater consequence than if she hadn’t, highlighting unfair professional practices for others who will go out on that field after her.
So, fine, habits are well and good.
But the new, that heralds a change for the better.
Favourite Tweet is on an 11th century female pioneer (you guys really get two tweets out of me): @LinaAbirafeh
Favourite Read: A hot mess of random Netflix series have taken over my life