April 5, 2008

Habits

A toss of my car keys from my right hand to the left. I've been doing it for 15 or 20 years. It started after I locked the keys in my old Mustang a couple of times. I started tossing the keys as a physical cue that I had them. I still do it most times I get out of the car.

Not long after that I lived in an apartment where my parking spot faced a bedroom window. I began waiting until I pulled out of the spot before turning on my headlights so I didn't spash the room with light. I still wait until I back out of my driveway before turning on my headlights. No other reason than habit.

I was thinking more about habits on my long run yesterday. There is a movie called "Grand Canyon" starring Danny Glover, Kevin Kline and Steve Martin among others. It is sort of a midlife crisis/re-evaluating your life type of movie. In one scene Danny Glover is relating a story about his father. He asked his Dad about living through the depression, world wars, racism, heart attacks and all the rest life threw at him. He asked "How did you keep going?" "Habit" he replied simply.

As you grow older, more challenges seem to creep into your daily life. Often slowly but sometimes with jarring suddenness. Either way you hope to adapt. At some point it becomes "it is what it is" or habit.

It is not unlike physical training. When you begin, you may be gasping for breath with your heart pounding after a half mile (or a couple blocks). By stressing and resting your body, it grows and adapts to a new level of stress. Soon you can accept the same challenge without it pulling you under.

I imagine the stresses of life in the same way. Things you could not handle at 20 are now dealt with at 40. Life has simply prepared you over time to deal with more than you once could. Like training though, the rest period is where the growth and adaptation occurs.

I wish some moments of rest for you my friends as you adapt to this new reality that came at you hard and fast. And I pray for you and your little girl as you both grow stronger with each passing day.

1 comment:

HB said...

Thank you Sean. I guess we'll have to develop some new habits.