Habits.

I recently finished Gretchen Rubin’s book “Better Than Before,” in which she explains how habits can be the engine of life. I checked out the book from the library and renewed it three times, so I could read it slowly and take notes. After the first 20 pages, I knew Rubin’s advice was valuable.

I’ve been implementing some of her tips, and they’ve made an impact on my life already. Two small changes that have already yielded results:

1) Eat dinner at my table and read. I complain that I don’t have enough time to read, but as I worked through Rubin’s book and reflected on the habits I’d developed out of default, I realized I actually did have time to read if I simply changed where I ate.

2) As soon as I’m done with dinner, I do the dishes and prepare my breakfast and lunch for the next day. Before I started this, I was waiting until 9, 9:30, 10 p.m. to take care of this. It never takes very long, but by moving this chore to the early evening, I feel like I’ve gained hours of time.

November is shaping up to be a hectic month. I just planned out next week and nearly broke out in hives for all that I have going on. Everything will be fine, everything will get done. It’s adding in other obligations that’s causing most of the panic. I’ll start attending a class on Judaism. I’m taking Jazzercise classes. I have seven pieces of music that must be learned and perfected at various points between Nov. 6 and Dec. 12. Toss in that for years now, every November I’ve blogged daily about what I’m grateful for.

And I’m doing NaNoWriMo again. 

It will all be fine, and I will live, and even though it’s not November, I must say how grateful I am to my therapist, who spent 8 months fixing me, because there’s no way I’d be able to even fathom what awaits this month had I not sought her help last year.

November will be a month of adding to the habits I’ve already started developing, knowing that if a certain number of elements in my life are automatic, I’ll find time to really enjoy my life. By the end of Rubin’s book, that seemed to be the point of habits in the first place.

The next habit I’ll be adding? Earlier bedtimes on the weekends. And with that, good night.

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