Quitting A Habit

A beautiful season hanging on for a few more days, I’m rejoicing in a few things I’ve done right this year.

I’ve reached a new plateau in my life. I can confidently announce that I have quit a bad habit.

My physical therapist emphatically said that if I quit crossing my legs that my back pain would improve.

Honestly, I didn’t believe it and normally would have discounted her suggestion, but my youngest daughter was with me during that appointment. As you can imagine, my daughter gently, but repeatedly, reminded me to uncross my legs so often that the next day I decided I would draw up my strength and give it a try. After all, I was in charge here, right?

I realized that only I, myself, had control over changing my situation. I had to decide to do it. After a couple of months now, I can happily announce that I’ve been successful. Who knew?

A personal habit becomes a part of us. And it’s comfortable like an old shoe. But why was this habit so important to me?

As I began to deconstruct it, I realized it probably began in cramped spaces like movie theaters or flying across country. But there was something more. I discovered that crossing my legs gave me a sense of confidence.

An example. When I worked at a PBS affiliate years ago, I crossed my legs and leaned in toward the camera when I spoke to the audience. I felt strong, confident and in control. Now, I can’t strike that pose. Even for book club.

Of course, I’m not the only one who uses a habit or gesture. It turns into a good luck charm for some. Like a baseball pitcher who takes his hat off, spits, then puts it on again before he tosses one across the plate.

Changing is possible. The secret for me was to realize that I had control and that I could actually change. And then do it.

 But can something so small really make a difference? My back pain, along with exercise and walking, seems to be improving. And, I can’t discount the fact that I no longer cross my legs. It may be a small thing, but a small thing as we all know in other situations can make a huge difference.

The power to discover you can change a habit is empowering.

What’s next? Sugar?

Happy New Year to All of You!