The habit keeps.
It’s a shadow in its deliberate follow, a clock in its relentless crawl. The seed of every habit is a well worn need whose birth is an amendment written in a long ago language but whose bill is clear as day.
The habit can be a mean and unforgiving place. It can weigh and it can crush. It can be a thief of hope and a murderer of faith. It can scavenge the best laid plans of a life and dress them in all the colors of Dante.
The equal opportunistic ways of its clutch allow for no safe havens. It doesn’t matter if you come from an amazing family, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of making one with the love of your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re Joe from Joliet or Josh Hamilton from the California Angels. The habit will take your youth, it will take your looks, and if you let it stick around long enough, it will get busy taking everything else.
So the thing becomes to change the habit you depend on. And I realize I am simplifying the math here. Forward your complaints to brevity. But really, you probably already know what I’m talking about, because it’s probably where you go every time you come back from the depths of that habit’s call.
All I’m saying is that changing up the habit is a very real thing. It happens, every day. The unfortunate of sad and tragic tales has a flip side that is really beautiful. There are millions of stories out there right now, finding that same kind of wonderful, and living out better endings whose underpinnings were ankle deep in land mines once upon a time.
Building a better habit is all about patience and humility. It’s about reversing the momentary collapse created by a ravenous impulse in favor of a payoff that has years and decades worth of better days.
It’s a chance.