Saturday, March 07, 2009

Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.
Edith Wharton

Hey, look who's back! We thought you'd died, or had fallen off the edge of the earth. Your last few posts have been more morose than not.....all cemeterian and deathly and the like.

Sorry 'bout that. It's just that the days tick by, the months pile up and one day you wake up and you're in a different place; mentally for sure, and on occasion, physically. For the past couple months I've been ensconced in a new routine, establishing new habits. I've had ample opportunity for reflection but limited time for writing and blogging. When life's circumstances change, and of course change is inevitable; like it or not, some things fall away and different things take their place.

In many ways, moving away from old routines is like dying. When you are separated from a friend or relative by the act of death everything changes over time. At first, depending on the closeness of your relationship with the deceased, you feel the void of absence painfully. As time passes, you think of them a little less and someday you may reflect back and recall that you didn't think of them for a day or even longer.

Take, for example, the habit of smoking tobacco. For 32 years I smoked tobacco. Mostly in the form of cigarettes but also in pipes and occasionally cigars. In all that time, I never went a day without smoking. The least number of cigarettes I smoked in one day was 3. That was one time when I was trying to quit. Twelve years ago I did quit and today I rarely think about cigarettes and more importantly; I do not miss them at all!

With the ebb of economic stability we are currently experiencing, many business failures and subsequent layoffs, firings, resignations and in general; disruptions of the daily routines and habits that come with the going to the job everyday. Once that separation occurs, regardless of the reason, that part of your existence: those habits, that routine dies and everyone, those who leave as well as those who stay, will experience the 5 stages of grief outlined by E. Kubler Ross:
1. Denial,
Example - "I feel fine."; "This can't be happening, not to me!"

Example - "Why me? It's not fair!" "How can this happen to me!" "Who is to blame?"

3. Bargaining,
Example - "Just let me live to see my children graduate."; "I'll do anything for a few more years." I will give my life savings if..."'

4. Depression, Example - "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; "I'm going to die . . . What's the point?"; "I miss my loved one, why go on?"

5. Acceptance,
Example - "It's going to be okay."; "I can handle it with change"; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it."

Leaving my position, after 33 years, at my hometown hospital to follow a divergent fork on the same career path has entailed my own traversing the 5 stages of grief. Knowing that I would be happier, less stressed and overall, much better off did little to negate the feeling that in some way I had in fact died. I am dead to that previous life. I've crossed over to a better place and the pain and regrets are sloughing off like dead skin and in time will be a memory reflected on less and less frequently and, perplexingly, more fondly.
What has all that have to do with blogging less? Well, I'll tell you, but with this caveat; writing is in my soul and will always find an outlet. It's not a habit likely to be set aside until I make the final transition to the other side of the curtain. So, I will be back to blogging more. Sooner rather than later, I promise.

The fact that my lap top died the later part of Dec. '08 is a major contributing factor as well. With the arrival of the insurance company's remuneration I hope to remedy that loss soon.

My interim routine for the time being goes like this:
  1. get up
  2. workout
  3. shower
  4. eat
  5. drive
  6. work
  7. drive
  8. eat
  9. Jeopardy
  10. sleep

and so it is.

next: Where do you go when you die?

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Blogger Jellyhead said...

I very much understand Rel. I am a person who finds change challenging, and I am so nostalgic. I always grieve for old jobs, previous houses, long-lost friends - even when I know it is time to move on. You're right - it is all part of the process. Right now I am happy in my latest job, love my home, and have wonderful friends. You'll feel like this soon, too :-)

7:12 PM  
Blogger Puss-in-Boots said...

Yes, I too understand how you feel, Rel. The only time I didn't grieve and was genuinely happy about the change was last year when I gave up working in the city and commenced working from home. That was, and still is, wonderful.

I'm glad that things are becoming more settled now for you, Rel. Good luck.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

Good to hear you're still alive and well in the bloggyhood, Rel!

10:05 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...

Good to hear that it's change death and that there is rebirth. Looking forward to reading about you after-life.

1:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes we just have to take a break and live, don't we Rel? It's nice to see you back, and I know I'm also glad to be back.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Wanderlust Scarlett said...

*THERE* you are!

We'd wondered where you'd wandered off to.

It was a bit morose around here, so I worried a bit... but it looks like things are back on track.
Much luck and happiness in this new epoch of your life, I know that it will be good for you. You make it good.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

PS ~ if you want a really good laugh, go to youtube and search for 'cartoon giraffe in quicksand'.

It's fast, and it goes through those 5 stages... pretty funny.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Voix said...

New laptop, good. Writing more, better.

Finally have a new post up for you today - a counterpoint to death and loss is birth and loss.

Weird, huh?

8:31 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth said...

Where do you go when you die?

Hopefully, to a place where Jeopardy is still on the schedule.

9:10 PM  

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