This week’s Quick Takes have a theme: Seven Habits I’d Like to Cultivate.
Prayer. I have a habit of praying, to be sure. I pray the Liturgy of the Hours daily (morning, evening and night prayer), and I pray the Rosary at least four days a week. I’d like to pray the Rosary every day. Some weeks I do, but others I slack off. I’d also like to improve my “informal communication” with God in spontaneous prayer.
Generosity. I’m still a tightwad. I know that I don’t have much, but what I have can benefit others.
Reading. I do read a lot, so maybe I should call this habit “finishing books and returning them to the library on time.” Brett bought me Witness to Hope: The Biography of John Paul II for Christmas several years ago and I have yet to finish it. I have probably read more than 50 other books since I have begun to read it. It is a very good book, and besides learning about the late Holy Father, there is much to learn about Poland, the Polish language, the Church, the World, history, politics, etc. However, the book is very thick, so it’s not very portable. Additionally, the type is tiny, so it’s hard to read by dim light. I feel like a loser for not having finished this book!
Then there’s A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken . I borrowed it from the library, but I had lots of other books at the time, and I couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t renew it, either, because it was on reserve by someone else. I had to take it back without finishing it. I reserved it again, but it showed up the week before Holy Week, when I was not only busy, but also sick. I didn’t pick it up. I’m hoping to try again later on this one.
Friendliness. I don’t think I’m an unfriendly person, but my shy nature can sometimes make me seem uninterested in people, especially people I don’t already know well. I just don’t know what to say, and sometimes I am afraid I’ll say the wrong thing. I try to at least smile, so people won’t think I don’t like them, but I hope it isn’t seen as sarcastic or haughty. Nine times out of ten, when I leave a social event, I feel down on myself because there were people whom I could have spoken with but didn’t. I think that my desire for someone else to start a conversation is patently selfish.
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Healthy eating. I do like healthy food, but so often there is candy and baked goods on the break room table at work. I know that this stuff makes me (or keeps me) fat, but I never remember the immediate discomfort will give me until it is too late. Junk food usually gives me a stomach ache, and too much sugar will make me feel somewhat euphoric for a little while, and then miserable for several hours, if not the rest of the day.
Blogging. Sometimes I wish I were an expert on something, so I could have a blog with focus. Because I know a little about a lot, but not a lot about anything, my blog is kind of random. The best thing about it for me is that it gives me a creative outlet. I guess it’s good in a way that it is random, because then I can share whatever I choose. If I were writing about food, I wouldn’t be able to post about cars, but with my current format, I can write whatever I want. Now, I just have to do that.
Keeping in touch. This is something that has always made me kick myself. Sure, I have Facebook friends from elementary school, middle school, both high schools I attended, college, grad school, the Peace Corps and Honda, but having Facebook friends really doesn’t mean keeping in touch. In fact, I’m much more in touch online with people I’ve never met. I hate to say this, but sometimes I’m out of touch with my family members and friends because I know that we disagree about something (politics, religion, etc.) and I don’t want to argue with them. As an introvert, I feel nice and insulated when I don’t have to engage anyone, especially on anything unpleasant. However, even my family relationships suffer because of this and I’m terribly self-centered. Really, considering how much I want to know what people are doing and how they are, I should try harder.
What habits would you like to cultivate in yourself?
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