This is a stupid time of day and a stupid day of week, to write these words. I have crunched myself into a small and fleeting space of opportunity to create something to fill this page today. It was recently brought to my attention, that writing my blog on Thursday night, ( or late Friday morning) is silly. I work late on Thursdays, arrive early on Friday, and must again work till very early Saturday morning. So why do I squeeze these sentences into the small gap on Thursday nights. Am I really that dumb??
Probably. Yes, I must be. Or, I must be doing a thing that we all do, all the time, whether it is helpful or not. I am following a habit, I’m repeating a pattern. I am simply doing a thing, that I have done before. Possibly for the sole reason, that I have done it before, and nothing else.
Could there be other opportune times to write to you in my fully scheduled week? Sure. I sought proof to this theory this week, and attempted to write on at least two other occasions before now, my normal ‘blogging’ time. But, I did not complete the task. Possible? Yes. Proven? No.
I wait until this time of night, and late in my week, because it is what I usually do. I have formed a habit. I feel a real urgency at this time to do the writing. I can’t help but make it happen now. I have done it for years. Excuses fall away. The meandering mind slows down and even the loss of internet connection tonight hasn’t stopped me. My habit will continue, one way, or another this week, again.
I know habits are powerful. I know I enjoy some of mine. Like fully dressing myself before leaving the house. Or, gassing up my car, before I am stranded on the road. Or, paying for a meal, before leaving the restaurant I ate it in. These are good things, that I have chosen to do, over and over again, which now feel like second nature, instead of a choice I could make either way.
Some of my habits I hate. I have a habit of starting to dream and plan and create, then to wander off with things unfinished. I have a habit to let go, and release, moving forward instead of cultivating and practicing. I have a habit to fall to the urges of my flesh. I crave, and I gorge myself. Then I wish I hadn’t.
I can judge myself for these habitual things, the broken records of my life. I can see and negatively respond to actions taken again and again, when I claim to want a new path, fresh direction.
I have broken some habits. I have created new ones. Haven’t we all done that too? I am man enough to tell you that I have tried and failed, at some of these little personal endeavors. I won’t commit, in all the ways it would take, to really demand better of myself. I won’t put in the work, always.
I miss a girl. Her smile and her spunk and her strength of spirit, was overwhelming whenever I was around her. She could make me feel weak and silly and insecure. She was small, but mighty. Visiting my cousin was a habit too. I did it year after year after year. She lived 12 hours away. My first ever, big road trip, was to see her. I repeated it many times. I had a certain rhythm to my life back then, it always wound back around to being with her, with her sister, and the family in Ohio. I just did it, because I had done it before, and would always continue to do it again. I didn’t ever think, I wouldn’t be there again, next year, to live a repeat of the years before.
Things changed. We lost her. She lost her, I guess. I know sometimes I just lose it. I’ve detached from all logical thought, I’m angry and scared and out of my mind enraged. That’s a habit of mine too. I don’t know where she was that morning, five years ago today. The day a bunch of habits changed.
There are things that we say we will do, and never follow through. There are millions of thoughts that don’t seem to ever materialize in real life. I notice myself so grateful that my body doesn’t always follow the spastic and undulating emotions in my head. Too often they do, but luckily, not each and every one.
We all are creatures of habit. I’d bet that you can imagine things that you claim are part of your personality, things that you’d identify as patterns of your unique behavioral imprint. I would too. I can’t for the life of me, however, truly understand what separates the flow and mechanically repetitive action of habit, from radical and groundbreaking choice. Does such unique and counter-intuitive original motion really exist? Or does pattern just adjust and change over time, so ever slightly in its course that we don’t notice the shift until the gap seems a chasm from where we ‘were’ headed?
I can’t tell you exactly why I sit here, stone cold sober, for 853ish days, while typing out my thoughts in the middle of the night, while my wife sleeps soundly, my restaurant awaits in the morning, and my prayers are to my Lord and Savior instead of Lord Calvert. What happened to my old habits? What happened to my life? What happened with my cousin? Will I someday find out how deep this rabbit hole goes?
I loved a girl, a woman, a daughter, sister, mother, cousin and wife. I always will. I think of her almost every moment, of every day. I haven’t lost that habit at all. I have lost something though. Nothing has ever been the same, since that day 5 years ago. For all of us. Habits shattered. Lives scrambled.
The crazy part is this. I have made some wonderful new habits, that I wish I could really interact and share with her. But I’m different today. I hardly do that even now, with the family and friends I do have. I am at arm’s length now. I made that a habit too. Not here though. Here is the place where I engage. I dump it out, good, bad, boring or otherwise. I express myself here. I used to do that differently. I redirected it. I had to. It had to go somewhere. I must have made this my choice, in retrospect I suspect.
Megan, my sassy cousin Megan. I loved our days on the boat with you and your girls. I loved staying up late, and hanging out with you. I loved partying with you. I loved being with you. I loved the idea that I was on my way to see you, I didn’t want to leave when that time came. I had a thing for you. I was so entranced by you. I can hear your voice right now. I miss you. You personified so many things that I wished I could be. I see those things right now in Tera. I know you’re still here in so many ways. I hug you tonight. I cry too.
I want to let the world know that, sometimes we end up in places we could never imagine. I want to recognize that habits don’t stay repetitive forever. I think we do chose again today all those little things that we chose before, and sometimes we chose it slightly differently. Of course I struggle. I chose that too. Just habit I guess.
See you again in a dream tonight. I hope someday I can re-find lost worlds. I hope I could repair lost relationships and stretched family ties. I invite you to help me if you can. Lord knows, I wished I could have helped you, had you wanted my help.
We are all here, we are conscious and connected. Congratulations, we have a choice to make. We can continue today as days before, or we can make a slight adjustment. We can eventually get there, to a new place that only proves we’ve moved forward. No place in truth is better than the other. Someday, I speculate, we will find out, that we were always okay, always enveloped in love and blessings, at all times, never without, never lost. Even when that seemed absolutely, utterly, definitely, conclusively, impossible.
With love 🙂 to Melissa, Tristan, Tera and Jon