23 March 2011

Creature of Habit

Superstition is a very large part of baseball.  It's something people who haven't played don't fully understand, but in a sport where much of the action is measured in milliseconds and fractions-of-inches you need all the help you can get.  Because of this, baseball became very ritualistic, very repetitive.  

I'm not saying that in my 18 years of playing that I thought by completing pre- or post-game rituals magically made my play better, however these rituals do bring a kind of inner-peace and calm.  In a sport where split-second miscalculation of a millisecond or a quarter-inch means failure, any doubt or stray thought can be disastrous.  To avoid this you come up with little rituals that convince you that you've done all you can, whether that's never stepping on the foul line, setting your glove down carefully rather than tossing it, not washing your jersey, eating a specific meal, or listening to certain music.  Your body begins to thrive on the consistency and reputation and soon it becomes subconscious.

This necessity for habit and ritual tends to flow out into my everyday life even still.  Whether it's the habit of working out or eating right, going to church or missing a certain missionary, once you get in the habit of doing it you do it subconsciously and it become easy.  At the same time, however, break the ritual and it can all fall apart, especially with habits you don't necessarily enjoy being in (like dieting).  Some habits become natural, especially the ones you wanted to get into (at least at the time), to break those you have to reverse the system, create new rituals to over-write the old.

Replacing the habit of missing Hannah daily has been my goal for the last month.  The last few weeks I've been quite successful.  I'll admit, I've allowed myself to be a bit of a hermit over the course of the last year, not really on purpose, I just let it happen.  Over the last week I've been liberating myself.  Beyond being really busy with work, I've allowed myself to get out more, opened myself to new relations.  I've literally made it a habit NOT to think about Hannah, I even get a sense of self-pride when I look at the countdown and realize, Hey! It's been almost a week since I really thought about Hannah coming home.  It feels good, to be honest, I feel free.

1 comment:

singlemormonchick said...

i soooooo get what you are saying!! i think i am going to use your post as a jumping off point for one of my own. you have given me so many good ideas!!!