Subtitle: Some things I’ve learned during an extended time of quarantine.
Bad Hair Day? I’ve learned that I can go twelve weeks without a haircut. (In the past, four weeks was my norm and six, at the most.) And one addition to my circadian routine, even when I don’t leave the house, is the nearly hourly brushing and combing of the ever-lengthening curls lest they, in their naturally shared company, become a tangled thicket.
Leaving Home Once! Formerly, I possessed a razor-sharp memory. Now, I’ve become forgetful. Not (yet!) about the über-significant names and faces of people. However, remembering the items on my lists of to-dos and what I require to fulfill them? Not so much. I don’t always forget, yet often enough to notice. Thus, when I leave home, almost invariably it’s a short trip. For necessity bids I return to retrieve what I failed to bear in hand the first time.
But in these quarantined days of fewer obligatory reasons to journey into the great outdoors, I’ve learned that in having more time to consider my venturing forth, I’m less absent-minded. Thus, I leave home only once.
When I Comes Before E! During my full-time vocational life, for various reasons, several times, I took the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator. In each case, the reading of my cognitive learning style relative to extroversion and introversion was on balance. That always made sense to me. For I equally perceive and comprehend the world around me via interacting with others and by drawing apart in the solitude of private contemplation.
But in these quarantined days, I relish the more afforded quiet time to think and to feel, to pray and to reflect and to write. In this, I’ve learned – or so, I believe – that I’ve always been a “professional extrovert;” one who adapted to his working environment of being present and serving the public by stepping onto the lit stage and performing his role, playing his part. (Now, I may be harsh, too harsh in this my self-assessment, but, I think, fairly, not entirely.)
Habits. One Old. One New. For all of my life, I’ve been a reader. And though I still like the tactile stimulation of holding the text in hand, I’ve learned to read volume upon volume on-line.
Recently, I was alerted to and read a study pertaining to human habits and how they are formed. The big takeaway? For most of us, it (give or) takes sixty-six days (that is, doing an activity for that number of consecutive days) to form a habit. Conversely, I think, not doing an activity for that period of time can break a habit.
Concerning the latter, during these still-raging days of the COVID-19 pandemic, I, a long-time sports aficionado, for the past four-plus months of no professional team competition, have learned (1) that ESPN’s SportsCenter need not be my first thing in the morning go-to television channel, (2) that replays of yesteryear’s championship games are boring, and, most tellingly, (3) that I haven’t missed watching sports.
Now, I wonder. When broadcast sports again become a television staple, will it take sixty-six days for me to re-inhabit my olden habit?
© 2020 PRA
Endnote: How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world, Philippa Lally, Cornelia H. M. van Jaarsveld, Henry W. W. Potts and Jane Wardle, University College London, London, United Kingdom (2009)