I don’t remember when it started, but today it stopped. I had been doing so well, I was in such a good habit, then one day, one morning, I tore it all down.
When I was very young I observed that good habits and bad habits have inverse properties. A good habit is hard to form and easy to break, and a bad habit is easy to form and hard to break. Basically, anything good and worth doing is difficult and takes time. Anything bad and not worth doing happens quickly and easily and is hard to get rid of. This principle applies to so much more than just habits.
Several months ago I started getting up early every morning to write when I didn’t have to go to work early. I also set up a schedule with an hour of writing time Tuesday and Thursday evenings. For a month or two (I don’t keep track of time well) I followed the schedule perfectly, never making even one allowance. Then, one morning after an especially difficult night with the baby, I decided to give myself another hour of sleep. I slept in the next morning, with no justification. A day or two later I managed to get up to write, but I was too groggy to write anything worth reading, so I did other writing related activities (which I allow for) and went back to bed when I was finished. Since that Saturday morning I completely stopped getting up early to write.
In the mean time I completely stopped writing in the evenings as well. My creativity suffered, despite a few good ideas that came from time to time. Even now, having gotten up early, my ideas are jumbled and my thoughts are muddled. It’s going to take time to get back into the habit, but it is so important for me to write!
While I have been neglecting my writing time over the last few weeks, I have noticed a considerable degree of edginess and frustration brewing in my demeanor. These are normal elements of my character that I consciously battle on a day to day basis, but I begin losing the battle when I give in to my lazy tendencies or fail to give myself appropriate creative outlets and stimulation.
Now I’ve got a couple of extra days off for the holiday making this a four day weekend. It’s even harder to get up on a day off from work, but I’m resolved to make this the beginning of a good habit again. No more sleeping in. I may have to give myself a free day once or twice a month, but I’ll come up with an accountability system to prevent those free days from putting an end to a good habit.
Oh, and tonight, I’m taking my writing hour.