Lucia Raatma

Writer and Editor


"We Are What We Repeatedly Do"

Posted by Webmaster on February 22, 2010 at 10:34 AM

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit."

I read that statement (from Aristotle) a few days ago, and it really made me think. What habits do I have that define who I am?

Well, I check my email all the time. What does that mean? Maybe it means that I'm conscientous and I want to stay on top of all my work obligations. Or maybe it means I like staying in touch. Or maybe it means I should take a few days off!

What else? Each morning I make sure that the kids have everything they need in their backpacks. That seems like I'm being a responsible mom. But maybe I should relinquish some of those tasks to the kids as they get older. Lizzie, at age 11, already likes to do most everything on her own, and I probably should let her.

And what things should I repeatedly be doing? I'd like to say that I'm always patient with the kids, but am I? Am I always helpful with homework and do I always make sure I listen to the problems they tell me about? Hmmm. I fear that may be hit or miss. When I'm tired or in a hurry, I'm probably not as patient as I could be.

Do I smile at strangers in the grocery store? Do I hold the door for people behind me at CVS? Do I say "thanks" to clerks and tellers? Yes, most of the time.

Good habits. Those words often make us think of getting exercise or eating in a healthful way. But there are other habits to cultivate as well. Taking time to pet the dog each night. Listening to everything my husband is telling me before jumping to any conclusions. Reading Alex a book. Brushing Lizzie's hair. Taking time for myself each day. Those are things I should repeat over and over again.

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