Bad habits

July 10, 2015

Do you have any bad habits?

I know of at least two of mine that I'd really like to change. I'm sure I have many more, but I've been aware of these two for quite awhile, and while I've made some half-hearted attempts to correct them, I really feel like it's time to get to business here.

This quote is always heartening . . . 

It is never too late to be what you might have been. -- George Eliot

One of my bad habits is running late. Late for appointments, late for church, late for social events. Funnily, though, if I'm paying for something by the hour (like piano lessons), I'm able to get there on time. So, I clearly can do it, if I choose.

Let's face it. Being late is just rude.

Yesterday morning I had a doctor's appointment. I was checking email, and then decided I had time to empty the dishwasher and start a load of laundry. And then, of course, I had barely enough time to make it to the appointment. I thought, oh, I'll use the valet parking at the hospital (running late costs money, too). That was full. The parking structure was full up to the top floor, and going slowly around and around each level to get to the top, and then finding my way to the doctor's office made me 10 minutes late.

No man who is in a hurry is quite civilized. -- William J. Durant

This quote was running through my head as I hurried down the hall. (We all know to watch the negative self-talk, but sometimes it is quite justified!) When I finally arrived at my destination, the receptionist told me I was late, and that the doctor might already have left for lunch.


(Thankfully, he was still there, and was able to see me.)

Being late is rude. I don't want to be a rude person. This is one habit I really want to change.

Another bad habit I have is that of interrupting. So rude.

I've had two close family members bring this to my attention, again, in the past two weeks.

Really, Deborah?

The thing is, sometimes I get so excited about what I'm thinking and want to share it . . . 

No, not a good excuse. I already know what I think; it's much more helpful to hear what others are thinking.

 I really am a good listener when someone is sharing their heart with me, or in some kind of trouble, or just needs a sympathetic ear. I can, and have, listened quietly and sympathetically to many friends and family over the years.

It's everyday conversation, or when we all get het up about politics . . . or when I'm with my book club, and excited about our latest read . . . 

But really . . . there's no excuse.

I feel like I need to do what Benjamin Franklin did. He made a list of 13 virtues he wanted to develop, and then, at the end of the day, he recorded how he did with each one. His included temperance, frugality, and tranquility, among others. Mine would include timeliness, or better planning, so I'm not running late, and not interrupting.

Maybe I need to stick a dollar in a jar every time I interrupt. Or . . . get some duct tape.

Somehow, though, I really do want to find a way to do better.

Do you have any bad habits you want to change? Have you found a good way to overcome them?


  1. Oh, your very smart and open post is going to make me ponder about me too. I think is very wise to be 'what we might WAnt to be...' even later in life. While I too am a great listener to problems others confide in me, or to keep a secret; I too get 'excited' and interrupt! Bad habits die hard, but we can overcome them if we make a point and want it very badly, or offer it to God... the latter has always worked for me.
    Have a lovely weekend sweet friend.

  2. Interrupting is a common one and I know I do it, too. As soon as I do, I catch myself and feel like an idiot.

  3. Oh my....I hate to admit all of mine. But we all talk at the same time in my family. We don't consider it interrupting. haha! So my poor sweet hubby never gets a word in edgewise! But I warned him! lol Sweet hugs, Diane

  4. Oh dear, I'm a good listener, too, like you, but sometimes, like you, I get so excited and interrupt. I'm trying my best to say, "Oh, I'm sorry, please go ahead." I am on time, though!! LOL!! I guess I'm always so excited to get somewhere that I'm always early. We all need to work on things, my friend, because we're human, but we do our best. xo

  5. Great post and something to think about. I will start with saying that I am never almost EVER late - unless there was an accident and traffic was backed up - but even then I seldom leave the house w/o checking the traffic reports. I grew up in a family where EVERYONE was late - and I vowed as soon as I got a drivers license that I would never ever again be late. My favorite quote (my own) is that "If I am not 15 minutes early to an appointment, then I am late, or feel late." I have doctors offices commend me. Now that is not to say that I arrive early to parties - never EVER - only arrive right on time. And yes, I sit in the car or drive around for 10-15 minutes, because you know I am early, haha.

    I have many bad habits - and def one is interrupting. I try not to do so - but, as you say - I get too excited and want to share it - rude, gotta work on better listening skills. Another - and it was something I never knew I did until recently and my husband asked me to be aware of it and try to stop it: apparently I apologize too much. He's asked me to try a different way of saying it instead of saying "I'm sorry" about everything and everything. It seems a strange thing to need to change, but maybe it makes me seem insecure - when all I intend is empathy. (Weird, but gotta be aware of it to know I was doing it.)

    And a physical one - I need to quit biting my nails. I either grow them nicely or they are stubs, and that is gross beyond gross and I hate hate hate this nasty habit.

    And I have lots more but that's enough for now, haha. GL with yours and wish me luck on mine.

    Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs.

  6. You mean your doctor was on time? Unheard of!

  7. Oh, this is such a great challenge to your readers. O.K. In the interest of full disclosure, I have become a sentence finisher. In my defense, I must say that it began when I became a volunteer at the nursing home where Mme Mère spent the last six years of her life. When an elderly resident would grope for words, I would find them for them and they would be so grateful. Younger people are not nearly as grateful when you finish their sentences for them....even though....I think my choice of words works better (just kidding!!). After almost 40 years of marriage, my husband and I have been finishing each other's sentences for quite some time now. Goes w/the territory.

    Also, I have become much more impatient. I no longer suffer fools gladly, and I have a bad habit of letting them know. I need to work on that, too.

    Just LOVED this post, Deborah.

    Cheers, M-T

    P.S.: How is the hair color coming??? Can we have an update?

  8. I can so relate to interupting. I to tend to hear myself doing that,but do listen too. I think as long as we are awhere of our faults, then we are half way there.

  9. Laughing here at Vee's comment!!! I am always early and wear myself out "waiting!" I do find myself interrupting and need to work on that. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  10. You make me smile, Deborah! I can relate to both those habits. I do keep working away at them. I will say that I was not late for my wedding, and I believe I'll be on right on time for the Great Wedding Supper one day hence. So there is hope.

    Wishing you a beautiful rest of the day. I'm hoping to get back to my blog soon and get connected with all my special friends here.


  11. Hi Deborah, I'm guilty of interrupting and I need more work in that area too. I am mostly early or on time and trying to teach my daughter to do the same.
    You went back to a no reply blogger again.
    Enjoy the weekend.
    Julie xo

  12. Dearest Deborah, how I appreciate your are so refreshing, my friend! Bad habits....yes, I know I have a few :)

    Thank you so much for blessing us, dear one. Much love to you!

  13. Oh yes Deborah, I have some bad habits that I have made myself aware of and am already working on. I think interrupting is hard for all of us, and something I have tried to be mindful of because I don't like it when others do it to me. Oh boy...
    Thanks so much for the reminder to all of us.
    Happy Lord's day to you!

  14. Dearest Deborah,
    Oh my, you are very brave by writing about this so openly.
    Pieter did speak so highly of you, the way you did converse, never interrupting, so calm and so sweet. Well, I do interrupt too, or ending a sentence... Like Marie-Thérèse already said, doing this for elderly, or for deaf that hardly can speak, makes you start on a 'habit' that will be hard to shake!
    Is this a female thing? I wonder but I too always felt like it being overly excited and wanting to tell a story, letting your thoughts out in a hurry... Being late has not been my problem but I've had to put the brakes on my Pieter as he tended to be too early. Knowing how inconvenient that can be for any host, as we ourselves are also speeding the final minutes before a party or dinner starts and we don't want anyone to arrive too early.
    Guess it all is part of being human and should we really worry too much about it?
    As for being late for a doctor's appointment, I have to say that 9 out of 10 times it is those doctors being rude and letting us wait. I did wait half an hour on Wednesday at the cancer center (skin) and I often think about it as if their time is more valuable than ours?! Even if I have to drive one hour for an appointment, I make it in time and than have to sit there like an idiot waiting...
    But let's try to be as polite and good as we can; that is pleasant for all around us and best for ourselves as well.
    Hugs and happy Sunday.

  15. Ouch. No, I'm not a late person. I read recently something about people who run late, and it was a favorable thing ... like they tend to be happy and optimistic. It's what you said up there, "I thought I had just enough time to ...." That's optimism. The pessimist (that's me always assumes the worst, and that something will happen to make me late. So I'm always early.

    But ... interrupting? Oh yes. that is a huge fault of mine. I do it all the time when I'm just not paying attention. When I think about it, I can avoid doing it. It's a horrible, rude habit, and I like to think I'm better, but I slip back into it. Ugh. I'll have to think about what other bad habits I have. I know I have some; they've just slipped my mind temporarily.


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