Habit of creature

Ever since that fateful day when Mom threw out all my comic books strewn about my room, I have been fastidiously neat. Fastidious, but not obsessive.

It began a life-long path towards always looking for greater efficiencies and then settling into a comfortable pattern of “not messing with it if it’s not broken.”

I always knew that my ultimate retirement ran the chance of my efficient patterns becoming habits. With less and less distractions or involvements with “real” life, my routines would likely develop into rote behavior.

And so they have. I tend to begin and end the day in almost identical fashion. I have “scheduled” days to do certain tasks, repeated either weekly or monthly. I have defined the most beneficial ways for doing things like filling the dishwasher putting away laundry. I do it the same (almost) every time.

So, in my hermithood, I have indeed become a creature of habit.

Take this example: I (almost) always pull my car in my driveway nose first. Why not? Beyond being simple, it’s also efficient, since my house faces west and the afternoon sun bakes the front rooms and driveway for several hours. At least my rear window tint is taking the brunt of that in the car.

But, yesterday, I was coming home with 25 of those edging stones. 14 pounds each edging stones. Only carry two at a time edging stones. Of course I backed in to shorten the distance and also to have the trunk lid protect me a little from the sun.

Except, I am so used to shifting to reverse when I leave my driveway, I had to tell myself all that night and all today, “Go forward. Do not reverse!”

So what happens when I got in the car today? I go forward. Duh. Hello! That’s why I kept telling myself all last night and all today.

But the point is, I had to tell myself or I would have naturally reversed (fortunately, as a safe driver, I back up very slow, so I would have realized before running over my front landscaping).

In this case, my creature of habit made a habit of creature out of me.

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