I was driving home from lunch with Mom a few minutes ago. As we pulled up to the traffic light and intersection the light turned red. I stopped. Mom grew quickly angry and complained about the light (assume language used) and followed that with “I hate this place.” I can’t think of anywhere in my adult life which hasn’t found her “hating” it, but when she moved to the next place, suddenly the last was a dream come true. It annoys me partly because she lives in my home and I love it here. As to traffic lights I have come to love the “extra” time to sip my water, say a quick prayer, adjust the radio, check email . . . if I’m running late, it’s my own fault, right? Can’t blame the light. So, Mom’s bad reaction added to the “why does she always complain.” Now, the rest of the story . . . .
It is true, MOm does complain a lot. It is a habit that she’s had long as I can remember. She is so quick to say “I hate this rotten place” that if the sun shines too bright or the sky is too blue, it’ll prompt that phrase to be spoken. Habits. The bad news? Habits are hard to break. But, there is good news! Habits are hard to break!!! Does this surprise you? Both statements are true. I promise.
You see, those habits become instinctive and reflex/response to any stimuli whether remotely appropriate or not. BUT they can be broken if we are stubborn and willing. Stubborn minds got us into the bad habit, why can’t it make us break the old bad habits and instill new ones? Okay, confession time.
I used to hate red lights. I’d waste gas driving the long way to avoid them. At some point I had little money (like now) and so gambled that I’d hit a few green lights and thus maybe the short way could work? I am by nature an early bird, so the timing wasn’t critical. I trained myself to use my quiet time in the car for prayer, breathing exercises, listening to MY MUSIC and the like. It made me like red lights and like driving (which I’d hated) and during times of concern praying while driving is HUGELY comforting. During times of elation, praying while driving is ALSO hugely comforting. Win win, win!
The rest of the story. Mom’s quick “I hate this place” about everywhere is a habit and this one comes so quickly I’m not sure she even knows where she is when she declares it. But, as I sat at the light, I was thinking of lunch. I had gone to a buffet place which she likes. I’m gotten away from a diet of nothing but fried, salty, fat filled, and starchie foods which I used to load up on even though I felt sick later and gained weight . . . I “loved” them. I’ve come to eat a diet filled with fruit, veggies, sushi, water . . . don’t care for meat much . . . I’m healthier, lost weight, and it looks and tastes really good. Oh, but the rest of the story? Most of that stuff . . . my new diet? It is all stuff I always turned up my nose on. Yuck, I don’t like veggies. I hate fruit. Suchi? Icky . . . raw fish? Just thinking about it made me . . . you know. At some point, my God Daughter, whom I can deny nothing, stuck a piece of sushi on my plate and in a comando voice told me to eat it. She sternly glared and said “all sushi is NOT raw fish. Hardly any is raw fish.” I ate it. I then stole another off her plate. I then began to gingerly taste fruit and veggies. Do you know how amazing they are? Yum. How is it that I didn’t know this? Oh, and when did Alice become the adult and me the foolish child? (She was born AMAZING) LOL
Know what? When I eat hamburgers, deep-fried food, etc., now? I don’t like it much. Sometimes not at all. Spinach? Yum! I eat a lot and I look better all the time. Good habits are as hard to break as bad ones. Try it!