Archives for posts with tag: habits

Well, this is embarrassing. The last time I posted here, I had no idea that it would be so long before the next time I posted here. As days, weeks, and months passed, it seemed more imperative that my next post be extremely meaningful or otherwise great to make up for my lack of productivity.

This is not that post.

This post is my “Welcome home, all is forgiven” message to myself.

I’d feel better about myself if I had been writing all this time, but I didn’t and I can’t fix that now. All I can do is pick up and go forward. So here I am.

It feels good to be back.

The Great Selfie Project of 2014 has been over for quite some time. Turns out, I’m just not that into me. I tried to stick with it, but not that hard, and not that long. The biggest problem seemed to be that I would get busy during the day, and then remember right before bed that I had not taken my picture for the day. The result: a series of shots of me, at my lowest point of the day, in the same spot on the couch. Bo-ring, not to mention demoralizing.

Despite my initial disappointment at failing to sustain the challenge I set for myself,  I am considering the project a success in one significant way: I have desensitized myself to the photo taking process, if for no other reason than it is truly no big deal. In the words of Bill Murray in Meatballs: “It just doesn’t matter.” Nobody in the world is going to look at any picture of me with the same intense scrutiny that I do. So what if I’m not photogenic? I live my life in three dimensions, not two, and I spend  the better (in all senses) part of my time looking at others, not me.  I’ve also managed to memorialize a few Good Hair Days, so that is another win.

And really, if I were to get hit by a bus tomorrow, I would want whoever found my phone to see images of people, pets, and places I love, not an endless parade of me. Wait, that’s what I would rather look at too.







So the three times weekly (M,W, Sat) publishing experiment has been unsuccessful, to put it kindly. And I am on a mission to be kinder to myself. So rather than berate myself for failing, I will consider the last two weeks a bit of a break, and start again today.

The new year has been interesting so far, in a good way: I’ve been to Raleigh with Dr. T to observe parts of a Moral Monday trial (he is representing some of the protesters pro bono) resumed lessons with BR, attended a meeting of a new group, attended my first Toastmasters meeting as an official member, and socialized more than usual too.

As to my self-photo a day resolution, I will say this: I am rapidly losing interest in myself as a subject. I expect this will result in me “getting over myself” and having a photo I can stand to use on LInkedIn soon so I can move on. Making sure to take a picture and post an entry daily has been a challenge. I dropped the ball on January 7, but I am giving myself a pass because although I didn’t take my own photo, I did cause photos of myself to be taken. (Publicly, even!) I am enjoying the app I am using for the project though: Day One, a nifty journaling tool. Check it out.

Not living a highly scheduled life since I’ve come back home has not really agreed with me. I intend to build more routine and structure into my life this year. I can hardly wait to see how.

Happy New Year. I wish you luck with whatever goals and intentions you have for 2014. Please feel free to share them as a comment.

You’ve heard before how much I enjoy walking.  Last year, I logged at least 400 miles, right here in my neighborhood. I know this because of a cute little app on my phone. (I believe I have also mentioned that I am something of a dork, with mild OCD.) I say “at least” 400 miles because some of my walks did not conform to my standards for logging them (again with the OCD dorkitude) and sometimes I forgot to set the app.

This same app forces me to acknowledge that until today,  my last walk was on New Year’s Eve day, 2012.

I had not taken one walk this entire year.

A minor medical procedure on January 2nd left me with several stitches on my foot. I was instructed to stay off the foot as much as possible for three weeks. A dutiful patient, I complied.

The weather in January and February was largely awful: rainy and bitterly cold, and the sun set so early. My work schedule was unpredictable. My next door walking buddy continued to be unavailable. Other domestic issues arose, and that walk I was always going to take “tomorrow” failed to materialize. I can easily list the reasons I did not walk on any given day, but the big question remains:

Why is it so hard to do something that is free, simple, and enjoyable? I know that I feel better on every level when I make time for a walk, and yet somehow I  managed not to take one for months. Bad habits are hard to break, and good habits, once broken, seem hard to resume.

I suspect walking falls into the same category as some of my other, frequently neglected, favorite pastimes: reading, writing, drawing and sewing. They serve no one but me, and generate no income. I feel selfish when I indulge in them, and have an uneasy sense that I should be doing something more worthwhile.

Which is ridiculous, because I don’t necessarily do anything else.  I just deny myself the enjoyment of those activities, ending up flabby, sluggish and out of sorts. And Waldo suffers.

It’s also ridiculous because what I feel is antithetical to what I know;  I feel that I am being selfish and non-productive, but I know that exercise is critical to physical and mental health.

This morning, before anything else could interfere, I dressed for a walk, except for my shoes. There was no way I’d get a cup of coffee (or two) in before heading out if Waldo saw my sneakers.  Fortified by caffeine, I hooked up the dog and off we went.

Barely across the street, at Waldo’s first pit stop, I felt the comfort of a familiar routine. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been off it so long, and hard to understand why.

We got a little over 2 miles in today (thank you, app!) and I am shooting for 3 tomorrow.

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (

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