We talk about them as if they come easily. So easily, in fact, that it seems we can’t stop them. Inevitable. They sneak in and become a semi-permanent part of our lives before we even notice. But they aren’t all that way. Sometimes we try to build them and we have to work very hard. It takes weeks for even small ones to root; and sometimes even then, they slip away without constant maintenance. How is it that the reverse is at the same time just as true? Sometimes they creep right into our lives and before we know it they rule us. Old habits die hard is the saying. But new ones can be difficult to cultivate.
Chewing your nails.
Shaking your foot.
Jingling your keys.
The ones we don’t think about, the ones that are a part of us.
The easy ones.
Taking out the trash on the right day.
Using your blinker.
Folding their clothes the way they like.
The ones that take repetition, the ones that take some minor effort.
The little ones.
Denying emotions from dictating your
The ones that take constant maintenance, the ones that are outside of us.
The necessary ones.
It’s like cornstarch and water in some ways as well. The binding is so strong, the surface very tough until you touch your fingers to it lightly. When you try to penetrate the surface quickly, rearrange it all at once, it resists you. Then you slow down, let your fingers sink in and it feels like dipping your fingers into a glass of water. It holds onto you when you try pull away. Slowly, deliberately. With patience you can build the habit, dip below the surface, carve a canyon with a rainstorm. It takes time and it doesn’t make sense because the reverse is true too.
Habits, love, life. Sometimes it comes easy. Sneaks up on you, floods your days and becomes an old habit that feels just like a part of who your are. Sometimes it’s work. It’s maintenance. It’s time and days and gentleness.
It’s fortitude and fragility.
Permanent and precarious.
It’s who we are, have been, will be.
A beautiful and tragic contradiction.