Creatures Of Habit

Published 3:35 pm Thursday, February 14, 2013

We are all creatures of habit, like it or not. Whether it's getting out of bed on the right side or eating breakfast before brushing our teeth, life-at least in our own individual way of reasoning-has an order.

A before B and B before C.

And once that order is disrupted, we are left scrambling to figure out what to do next.

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This is true whether we are organized, like my neighbor who has a filing system that not only makes sense but also works. Or not, like me shuffling stacks of papers dealing with the latest urgent thing on top.

In reality, there's organization in what seems chaotic-as long as one can get their work done and find what they need to find. It just doesn't look very good.

Still, I have to say, I was once a bit of an organizer. My dad is a mechanic and, some years ago, his now-writer son helped him out in the summer and on weekends. Dad had a large roll-around box filled with all manner of specialty tools.

It never made sense that the drawer for the large wrenches and the normal wrenches were separated by a drawer filled with special, odd-jobs type of tools. All the wrenches needed to be together.

So, in my great reasoning, I decided to switch the tools in the two drawers. It made perfect logical sense. Perfect, indeed.

Though the reasoning was sound, my mind never quite made the switch. I had operated under the old storage system far too long and, to this day, when I pull out the sliding drawer for a tool, I have to pause to think about the correct drawer for the desired tool.

Change can be painful, as Rafiki might advise. The new order of tools never became as automatic as flipping the light switch on when entering the room when it should have.

This August, the postal service plans to end Saturday mail delivery in a move that could save the government billions of dollars. We are fast becoming (minus junk mail) closer to a paperless society.

If only it were bill-less.


Personally, I could do with a lot less junk mail, unsolicited sales magazines for cheap junk, and companies offering services that I don't want. If they're reading this, be advised that if I wanted what you're selling, I'd make the first call.

Then there's the ultimate, of course, putting an end to the landslide of political annoyances that come every big election year. Just think of all the slick paper trees we'd be saving? (They've got to be an endangered species by now).

One day of deliveries should make a difference in all that. One-sixth of any slice of pie is a sweet treat.

If only. Yes, I'll just have to stop the thought process there. If only the picture I just painted were real. What will happen is all that stuff won't come on Saturday any more, which will make Monday's visit to the mailbox more burdensome.

Throw in the light and credit card bills, a little rain, and Mondays will be even more depressing.

As for being a creature of habit, I think the Saturday trek up the hill will still be like that old toolbox in Dad's garage.

At least I'll get some exercise.