Kicking some really nasty habits

A few months ago, I told myself that I’d stop biting my fingernails. It’s been a bad habit for as far back as I can remember. There was definitely a good chunk of time, I’m talking like over a decade, where I never used a nail clipper. Never. I’d just always bite my nails off. I was actually pretty good at it. They weren’t jagged or anything, and I never got too close to the soft part, so nothing ever bled. But my teeth eventually started wearing down. And my jaw has this problem where it always wants to clench, and I’m getting TMJ. And so yeah, I put an end to the whole nail biting habit. I looked at myself in the mirror and I thought, that’s it Rob, no more. And yeah, aside from a few lapses where I’d pick up my bad habit almost unconsciously, I’ve been pretty good about it. But now my nails are always long. And when I’m sitting here typing, it feels like there’s something in between the keyboard and my fingers. And I keep telling myself, right after I’m done here, I’m going to find a nail clipper, and I’m going to do it. But I always forget. Or I can’t find the nail clipper. Still, I broke the habit, and that’s what’s important. It was tough, really tough, but I did it.

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Quitting my nail biting was actually pretty empowering. I thought, if I can give that up, want other unwanted habits can I eliminate from my life? Might my tendency to leave my dirty socks all over the house similarly be on the table? I vowed to give it a shot. It’s really so stupid, and I don’t know why I keep doing it. But it’s like, whenever I get home at the end of the night, after I take the dog for a walk, I just take off my shoes and leave my socks anywhere: on the floor by the front door, in the kitchen, the bathroom. My wife hates it. I’ve told her time and time again that I’ll try to consider really making an effort to direct the socks toward the laundry hamper, but I’ve never made it more than one day before I find myself looking down at my bare feet, contemplating my sockless state of being, wondering where I could I have left them behind. Then my wife screams at me, then I have to start apologizing.

But I stopped. I totally put my dirty socks in the laundry hamper. I don’t know what’s gotten into me, or how I tapped into this previously unknown command of willpower. I thought, if I can manage to take care of the sock problem, why not try something really big? What about my inexplicable practice of leaving gas on? It’s more than a bad habit, it’s something that borders on the pathological. Regardless of how hard I try, there’s something inside of me that insists on going into the kitchen and cranking up the gas dials on the stove. It’s always right before I leave the house. And my wife yells at me, “Rob! What the hell! Are you trying to kill me?” and I’m like, “No! I have no idea how that could have happened!” And I used to deny it and claim that it must have been someone else. I’d even blame it on my wife. But over the years, she’s caught me in the act on several occasions. And each time, I’m like, what am I doing? It’s like I’m not even aware that I’m flooding the whole house with poisonous gas.

But I kicked it! I finally managed to stop doing it. And so I’m just really pumped up here. I feel like there’s no limit to the amount of change I can implement in my life. Maybe I’ll be able to stop throwing knives at the walls. Or spiking the milk with bleach. What kind of a person would do stuff like that? Not me. Not anymore. You’re not going to find me loosening the screws that hold the railings tight against the staircase anymore. It’s about time I said goodbye to stuffing bananas into the tailpipes of my neighbor’s car. At my current rate of success, I won’t have anything to resolve come New Years. Because who has time for all that nonsense? Not me. Nope, absolutely no more bad habits on my end. I’m a brand new person. I promise.

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