We are what we do
A habit, according to Merriam-Webster, is “a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior.”
In general, habits make up who we are and what we do. They are shortcuts that allow us to function without overwhelming our brains. They make up our personalities and influence our view of the world because they become ingrained in our day to day life. The choices of what you eat in the morning, the types of movies you watch, the genre of books you read, these come from a lifetime of previous choices that culminate into who you are now.
Habits come from the mountain of prior living that lets you function. Disrupt those habits and chaos flows in. The scope of the life changes impact the amount of disruption.
Over a year ago
In 2018, after we lost our horse, we sold our house that we had lived in for fifteen years and moved into an apartment about 30 miles from where we had been living. Our intent had been to move out of the area in the near future (mountains and trails were calling to us). However, external circumstances arose that force us to move into a townhouse only a few months later. In 2021, a slew of events necessitated another move, and so we started the process of having a house built (though still not near mountains).
While these activities were disruptive, most of the habits we had formed in those years held. We could walk to a number of nearby restaurants, the stores we liked to shop at were in easy distance, and even though my creative space was cramped and overrun with the day-job office, I knew were to put my keys and glasses.
In Aug 2022, we moved into the new house and that is when chaos broke. Even though I knew what to expect, I no longer had my computer set up as normal, my things were scattered over three floors, my glasses were never where I needed them (and I hate needing them). The habits that got me through the day no longer worked. No matter how hard I tried to forced my old habits to function, they rebelled and worked against me. What should have taken seconds was taking minutes and minutes turned to many minutes.
The good news, habits and behaviors can change. Not always easily, but with enough determination, I now have a place to put my keys, my makerspace in the basement is coming along, and as of last night, I completed the cable management of my desk (no more rats nest of wires).
While we still don’t have mountains in our backyard to trek through, we definitely will create a habit of visiting them more. And while having the house built didn’t destroy my habits, it did consume way too much time and energy. Now that I am unpacked and settled, I’m anxious to be back to creating.