Saturday, January 12, 2013


I've been thinking a lot about habits, and how uncomfortable I get when a habit of mine is broken. My roommate and I were talking about it in the car on the way to the grocery store (went shopping for the first time in a month today). We are both noticing that each of us do the same things at the same places (though we personally do different things). For example, when we go to Cafe Rio, we both get pork burritos without sauce and with cheese on the top. When we go to Wendy's, she always gets the same combo, and I always get the same combo. When we go to Target, we always go in the same door, and I always have to stop at the nail polish section to see if there are any new colors.

Those are just a few that we share. But I've noticed a lot of my own.

I never leave my bedroom in the morning without first washing my face and brushing my teeth. I hate skipping that. Same with going to bed; if I don't do those two things, I can't sleep. I do chores in the house in the same order every single time, with a set plan for timing and efficiency. Last night when I did all of the chores, I did them in the wrong order and got so thrown off that I almost started over.

I can't open my garage door until I've gotten in my car and shut the door. I take the same route through the grocery store every time I go, starting with produce and working my way section by section on my list (which is written according to the layout of the store). The dishes in the dishwasher are placed, when I load it, in the same spot every time. The pantry is organized by food type, as are the shelves in the fridge and freezer. So are my clothes in the drawers, and even in the closet.

And another really weird habit? I eat my sandwiches, meat, whatever it is, in circles. Seriously. I start on one side and work my way around in a circular direction until it's gone. I even spin my plate in circles (unless it's pasta, soup, or something that doesn't require cutting -- oatmeal would fall into this category, too). My food is particularly organized; so is Chelsea's. When I eat, cook, bake, shop, bag items in the store, put things away -- there is a system for everything that cannot be broken, or I get anxious.

There are all of these bizarre little quirky things that I've been noticing about myself. If I do things differently, it bothers me a lot. I will try new things, like food and places to have fun -- usually I do that out of fear of what others will think if I don't, rather than because I want a new experience.

I guess this realization is coming from trying to break other habits that are a serious problem. Not only that, but I'm trying to feel more -- that's my assignment, to allow myself to feel what I feel, rather than pushing it away or pretending (which sucks and I hate it). All of these weird rituals are truly that: weird.

Funny how I've lived with myself for nearly 21 years (gah, I'm getting older) and am just barely seeing things that I do every single day. I wonder why it's so much easier to observe other people's patterns of behavior than it is to observe our own.

What are your habits?

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