Tag Archives: commitment

How to Break a Bad Habit in 6 Steps

I am developing a new habit, and so this weekend, as part of my effort to break the cycle of the old habit, I learned how to sew buttonholes. How can sewing buttonholes be the secret to forming a new habit?

bald black man in orange jacket, headphones, at edge of football field

To break a bad habit, we must choose to avoid what we’ve been doing. To form a good habit, we must choose to practice it repeatedly.

I’ll explain shortly. First, if you don’t sew, you cannot appreciate how hard it is to sew buttonholes. Niccolò Paganini wrote his wickedly difficult Caprice No. 24 in A minor so that violinists could learn it in lieu of learning how to make buttonholes.

I have a mechanical sewing machine that requires four separate steps for a buttonhole. The jazzy computerized machines sew perfect buttonholes in one step. It’s the difference between managing a team of horses and driving on cruise control.

I am not known as a domestic goddess, but once in a while I’ll trot out the sewing machine and make pillow covers. I decided this time that I’d finish them using buttons. That means buttonholes. Something I have successfully avoided since my high school life skills class.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Commitment

Five Minute Friday: Fall

As a child, fall meant harvest time. My parents grew up in farming families and so it seemed natural to them that we should grow and preserve at least some of our own food.

Close up of clusters of ripe zinfandel grapes

We plant our values in our children and realize the harvest when they mature into adults.

As our family worked to harvest vegetables from the gardens on our acreage in the country, the farmers around us worked to harvest thousands of Iowa acres of corn and soybeans. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Commitment

Spring Always Follows Winter

The cherry blossom festival in Washington DC is in full swing. Having suffered the cold of winter, the trees began to bud in early March and with some warmer weather, the famed cherry trees will be in glorious bloom for the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 13.

cherry tree in blossom at the tidal basin, Washington DC

When we can empathize or sympathize with others in their winter times, we nurture them so that they may eventually enjoy a glorious spring.

 

Long before Mother’s Day, the trees will lose their blossoms to make way for the fresh green leaves that will feed the tree through summer and prepare it to survive the next winter.

We all experience seasons in our lives. Our lives suddenly turn cold with grief or hardship, or gradually chill over time under a sustained assault of addiction or neglect for ourselves.   Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Courage