Monday, February 24, 2014

Old Habits Die Hard (But When They Do...)

Woke up this morning (first morning, post Olympics) to feed umpteen critters in weather I hoped we were done with for the season. Yawning, I reached for the remote to check the weather, when it hit me like a lightin’ bolt, “Wait. I said I was NOT gonna let my mind rot out to mindless morning television again.”
Past blogs will attest to my addiction. Television coverage, the bumps, the teases, the “coming up nexts” hit me right in my sweet spot. I found myself glued to Olympic coverage of sports I barely understood. (I thought maybe our own arctic freeze was bonding me to Sochi, Russia, but that can’t be…Heck, they had warmer weather than WE were having in Middle Tennessee...Go figure.)
I caught myself before allowing myself to go into the mind-numbing “zone” where advertisers and news briefs hope they land you like a fish, as I justify, “Oh, what’s another 5 minutes gonna hurt…So what if I’m only minimally interested in the local arrests for the night…Surely something affecting my life is gonna spring forth from that screen any second now..."
But not this day No. No. Ney. Ney.
I caught myself this time.
Where I’d binged on Olympic coverage, today was the time to go on a television diet.
I reached for a book on tape…anything nearby. Anything without commercial interuptions. 
My book dejure was on Kaballah.
Kaballah, for those who do not know, is a Jewish school of thought tied to mysticism. It’s a lens through which one interprets Old Testament law, if not life today. Yes. A little heavy if you’ve been living in the land of Today Shows, but I was reaching for something, anything, that wasn’t TV fluff. (And I may've found it. Or else God just handed it to me.)
What I also found, (which is to say, the lesson that jumped out at me) was: “Nothing happens Suddenly.”
Well, Of COURSE things happen suddenly. Lottery winnings happen suddenly. “Honey I’m leaving you for another woman” happens suddenly. “You’re fired” happens suddenly.
Turns out. The dude was right.
Nothing happens suddenly.
Yeah, a big-ol-pile of money may SEEM to happen suddenly, but the routine of buying a ticket? Not so sudden. Your marriage suddenly ended? You probably had a hunch. The job you suddenly lost? Not so sudden. You had to have known something was up, unless….
 You, like me, have learned to get good at ignoring such negative vibes, cranking up music, thinking positive…Painting it pink and calling it fine! :) But in the end, these are all just efforts to cover up what isn’t so sudden, (nor subtle), which is to say, we are creatures of habit and sometimes our habits need changing.
I think Mr. Kabbalah teacher is right: Nothing Happens Suddenly. If we’re products of our own repeated habitual patterns, the question becomes: why are most of these so self destructive and what small, integral step can one take (in the day to day) to change things?

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