Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Habits

I sleep in an old four poster, the bed of my parents and the one in which I was made. They bought it in D.C. when Daddy was working for the FDA before he signed on for a world war. A pair of spinster sisters had slept in the bed all their lives and were happy to give it my newly married parents when the sisters moved to a nursing home. My bed is topped with three layers of feather beds, a down comforter, an old quilt, eight soft down pillows and two of firm feathers for propping up to read.

I was fluffing the bed this morning ~ tossing all of those feathers and down ~ and it struck me that I used to do this daily. Daily. I did it every day for a period of two years and then I just quit. Now I fluff on the day the housekeeper comes and aside from straightening the covers, I do nothing else the entire week.

I don't understand this. A fully fluffed bed is truly one of the pleasures of my day, yet I only give myself that gift once a week. It takes about two minutes to toss and fluff and then the bed is an absolute nest. I sleep better, feel as if I've had a treat, feel comforted in this world where comforts are sometimes infrequent.

It's the same with the prayers I said for the 20 years I was attending 3-4 12 step meetings a week. I believed nothing in the beginning; I got on my knees and said the words because I was told to do so and I was desperate. After a year or two of taking that positive action, I began to realize that something was different. I'd become aware of the Power that changes hopeless, desperate alcoholics into people with sparkly eyes and smiles and laughter. Aware, but not there for myself. More action, developing a habit.

I clearly remember the day I took the action and felt as if my prayer connected somehow. It was a profound spiritual experience and one which changed my heart and my mind. That connection strengthened and the habit I'd developed led me to a life I'd never imagined: living free of alcohol, free of excess food, free of binging and purging, free of the insane relationships that marked my actively addicted years.

One day I stopped. Mike was sick and I was working full time, running a full time business, caring for him. I quit one day and then the behavior became periodic. He and I used to pray together every morning, holding hands, and we did that for 12 years. After he was unable to work and was so desperately ill, I left the house before he even awakened most days. The habit of years fell away and so did the connection.

Once broken, the habit is so hard to bring back. I've noticed it's not so hard to bring back the habit of overeating ~ I've done that over and over and over throughout my life. But then overeating isn't so much habit as actual addiction for me. But the positive habits, fluffing my bed, praying with my sweetheart, pausing to ask for help through the day. Damn, those are just so elusive.

I am starting right now by saying a prayer to get through this day and to find a way to be of service to others. I don't know what / who / if anything's out there, so I am acting as if there's a benevolent Power that cares for me. The kind of connection I had for so many years is the greatest high I've ever known and I. Have. Known. Some. Highs.

I've done this before and it works. I don't know how to start anything beyond just doing it for one day, this day. So today I'll pray.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Lynn said...

I so wish you would have entitled this post: Fluffer. Because that's what it's about really, the instant gratification, right? You don't fluff because you get lazy, same with your prayers, too much, right? But in the long run, you suffer. I think about this all the time, Lynette, my life is a list of practices vested in instantly gratifying me.

I wish you the fluffiest bed and an answer to all of your prayers. One is already answered because you have found a way to serve with this blog.
XO

October 04, 2006 3:24 PM  
Blogger Belle said...

Followed you here from the White Trash Mom site. I just had to check out another Belle's blog!

Good habits start, and start again, with baby steps, just like the bad habits do :)

October 04, 2006 6:41 PM  
Blogger TrixieBelden said...

Taking time to reflect each day is a wonderful way to live. I hope you find joy in it. Years ago I used to read a book called Simple Abundance every day. It had different passages for each day of the year. I tried to start doing it again but I just couldn't get into it. I might try to start again tonight.

October 04, 2006 9:17 PM  
Blogger FatMom said...

And how did it go, BAB?

October 04, 2006 11:30 PM  
Blogger ~Jen~ said...

I have to tell you that reading your blog is a major inspiration to me. You are doing good things :)

October 05, 2006 11:07 AM  

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