Sunday, July 01, 2012


DipticThey say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. I don't disagree. Not entirely. On the other hand I wish no one had told me that. I probably need to believe you have to keep working on it forever and ever (which you do which makes it less a belief and more, well, the truth).

About a month ago it seemed as though I was on track to do a set of shows in August before I leave for Italy. A deadline is like catnip to me. Or perhaps more like a cat-o-nine tails. I realized that I was going to have to start strengthening a lot of performing muscles so I needed to start working out after a fashion. The solution seemed to be found time and I found it in my morning routine.

So every week day, at least, I began doing my vocal warm ups while I shower, feed the beasts and pack up for the day. I expect the thank you cards from my neighbors to come rolling in any time since I leave the house by 8am. It's working, though. I'm hitting some milestones with my workout goals and getting more songs under my belt and showing up at my sessions better prepared. What's not to love, right?

About the same time I passed the 21 day mark on this habit it became clear that August wasn't going to happen. Through circumstances outside of my control I wasn't going to work in that time frame. To say that this made me angry is to underestimate the joy of a good nut punching. Unfortunately actually doing the nut punching will delay me further so I'm not going to do it.


The deadline, however, she is gone. Like magic, just when that happened, the resentment of this routine set in. I used to watch DVR'd episodes of Craig Ferguson in the morning while I brushed my teeth or catch up on Sunday night's True Blood while I marshaled my forces to go into the office. I miss my stories! Some days I just want to see who bit who instead of mi mi mi-ing my way to some elusive fucking performance that I can't believe anymore will happen.

Still angry. I know. Working on it.

I realize, though, that this happens to me with almost every habit I try to establish it. Once I hit the mark where it's "mine" I resent the shit out of it. Weight loss. Piano. Writing every day. Blogging every day. Cleaning. If you take away my accountability I am lost.

Anyone else find themselves in the same predicament?


  1. so, does that mean it's done. forever done since it didn't come to fruition before Italy?

  2. For me, the routine is way bigger than 21 days. The ones that work, I come to love. (I bet you loved this, too, till the anger thing triggered the resentment - it just feels good, even if not at the mi-mi-mi moments, then at others you mentioned...)

    When I lost weight (not the got-sick weight loss!) I stopped thinking about weight and just ate the way that would work forever. I lost weight much more slowly than I had in other attempts, but my weight gently drifted down. But that had not been a lifelong struggle for me; in those arenas, I look forward to progress with whatever optimism I can scrape together - for all of us.

    Also look forward to the postponed performance.

    (ETA: Oh, look - I'm Robert again!)

  3. Yes, I get that feeling too. Like running, I loved it and I owned it, but still resented the effort every stinking time, until I actually got out there and started. And once the major milestones had been checked off, I petered out. Not that I don't still feel guilty about stopping. The deadlines are entirely necessary to me. Like Robert said, loving the routine itself kinda helps. Looking forward to the show when it does happen.

  4. Misti, it means that instead of being able to do a show in August and another one in November or December I will only be able to do one in Nov/Dec if at all. And if I can't do that one then none this year and another year of sinking a cabillion dollars into a career I can't deduct from my taxes.

    1. Then we shall all universally manifest a show in November/December.
      Ready! Set! FOCUS E'rebody!

  5. I care a lot about the cabillion dollars, but I care even more about you getting to do what you're meant to do. Wish I knew how to kick over an obstacle here. (Kicking is kind of a specialty of mine.)

  6. What I want to know is why is it always the bad habits that one can do in one's sleep that are a piece of cake and the good habits that one knows one should be doing that take so much effort to establish and then maintain?!?

    Your performance in November/December will definitely happen- I'm sending you lots of positive vibes! And happy (early) Independence Day!