I have always heard that if you do something different or new for 30 days, that it becomes a habit. I never believed that until now. I have disbelief only because I have the worst will power when it comes to trying to change things. I tend to work best under pressure and deadlines.
Being away from home and all of my familiar and comfortable surroundings for three months, I faced various changes all at once. I went through days of sadness, then days of joy and appreciation, days of missing my loved ones, days of eagerness to explore…it has been quite the roller coaster ride of emotions. But I have to say, I have come to adapt new habits that I am so very welcome to have acquired.
First New Habit: I am reading now more than ever. I had many hours of not being around WiFi or cable. It never occurred to me just how much of the idiot box I was watching. I literally went through withdrawals….to the point of buying a portable DVD player and rented movies every other three days. Name a movie, I have seen it! Then I began reading books upon books upon books. I got a temporary library card at the local library and checked out all sorts of books and plowed through them. Some days, I would hang out at the library and get on their WiFi, as I am doing right now, and chit chat with my new friend, Larry, who would wait at the library for his ride home after a long morning of work. I’ve never been much of a reader, until I picked up the habit. Now, it is all I want to do. I came into several old cookbooks in storage at the plantation where I work. There are some beautiful gems from the 60’s with faded photos of egg and head cheese aspic, ambrosia salads, and old school food trends. It’s so interesting to me to see how our food prep, ingredients, and presentation have changed over the years. Nonetheless, these recipe books are historical to me. I will cherish them from this day forward!
Second New Habit: I learned NOT to check my social media every other minute. Believe me, this was totally not by choice! I had little service where I stayed during the evenings and not being able to answer a message or read about all the cool stuff being shared or just reading the news, I lost my shit a little bit. Then…… I was ok. I would just head to the library and catch up on things during that small window. But most of the time, I would just step outside and take in the beauty all around me. I would breathe deep and exhale. I would enjoy the sounds of all the critters with whom I shared space. If I found a lizard in my house, I would take it outside. I shared space with lots of lady bugs too. I never wanted to harm them. After all, it was I who was their guest.
Third New Habit: I learned how to slow down. Everyone in this small community is extremely kind and no one is ever in a hurry. The streets are filled with kind drivers. I would have full conversations with everyone I encountered…from the butcher to the barista. I couldn’t help but wonder that these people were truly happy individuals. They were at peace. I wanted that feeling too. Once I realized that I had it, it felt amazing.
I will miss this place but will return in the winter once again. I will take my new habits with me back to Texas. Will they fade? They might. I cannot promise that they won’t, but I will do my best to keep them. Habits are much easier to accept when I have no choice but to accept them. When I get home along with choice, I hope that only then will I be able to say that they stuck with me.
…until next time, beautiful Georgia winter.