As we near the close of 2017 and the dawn of a new year I thought I would share something I have re-learned the past few weeks. Habits have a way of shaping us even as we try to shape our habits.
During my twenty months of chemo treatments I struggled to remain focused and energized. I became a strong believer in the importance of naps and learned to pace myself in new ways. Pre-chemo Dan loved to use the time after dinner to read and study. It was my time to catch up on what was important to me. During my chemo treatments I found it very difficult to read. I could not remain focused and would need to read whole sections a couple of times to figure out what an author was saying. At the end of the day I was often exhausted and if I could stay awake in my chair that was a victory. It was not unusual for me to sit down in front of the television and “relax” the night away. Honestly, it was about all I could muster during my treatments.
When we decided to take a break from chemo my focus slowly returned and the effects of “chemo brain” gradually lessened. What did not change was my habit of going to sit in my recliner and watching television for much of the night. I had become comfortable, dare I say addicted. My habit was slowly becoming my reality. Each night I would think, “you should go to your study and read.” Each night I would come up with a reason to stay put and watch the night slowly pass me by.
Habits have a way of slowly morphing into something that defines us. This happens when we intentionally start a new good habit in an effort to transform some aspect of our life. It happens subtly and often goes undetected when a bad habit becomes something that shapes and defines our personality or lifestyle. [Read more…]