It’s been a long time since I shared an update on my New Lifestyle, New Me project. I’ve been quiet about my progress. Why? Well… let’s just say that I’m beginning to understand why Adam and Eve hid from God after they tasted the forbidden fruit. They failed to stick to the plan. They broke the ONLY rule. That’s embarrassing! Humiliating even.
I get it. I’ve broken MOST of my own rules already, and confession is a very hard thing.
But today is a new day, a new beginning, with fresh thoughts.
When I reorganized my room recently, I moved my bed around. The left side of it—the side that I have been getting into for years—now runs alongside a long, narrow table that I love. There is not much room between the two, meant to give me “just enough” space to get in and do some tucking in the morning, nothing else.
That being said, the right side—the side that used to be up against the wall—is now my new area of “approach.” There’s a small rug at the base of this “right” side, beckoning me to come in for a landing and rest my feet. There’s plenty of clearance to walk around, sit for a spell, and to launch myself into bed at night.
Here’s the thing. Every time I enter, the FIRST thing I do—without even thinking—is head to the left side and SQUEEZE myself into that tiny space between the table and my bed. I can’t help it! I’m a terrible creature of habit. I’m bound and determined to reach “the left side” of my bed, even if it means nearly knocking over a lamp and spilling paperwork to the floor every time that I do it. This pattern of behavior made me curious, and so I pondered it for a bit. Two words came to mind.
If I want to change that weird habit (which might seem lame, but it’s a perfect example), I can’t give up. I’ve got to force myself to veer to the right, and I’ve got to do it again and again, over and over.
Procedural memory is a part of long-term memory that’s responsible for motor skills. It’s where information on how to perform certain procedures is stored. It’s like learning to ride a bike when you’re young. You try and you try, and you probably wobble at first (after falling several times). But you keep doing it, over and over, and then—once you’ve got it down perfectly—something miraculous happens. The task no longer involves conscious thought. You can ride a bike, and you can do it without even thinking! That’s incredible.
When I shared about the curse of the all or nothing recently, I think most of what I said was “self-talk.” I do that a lot; sharing ideas with you all as I try to teach the ideas to myself. The whole point behind my thoughts were that I should not just GIVE UP (do nothing or quit). Life is not about all of nothing. It’s about putting forth effort to do the things that you’d like to do, or to make the changes you want to make.
So, as far as my New Lifestyle, New Me goes—if I haven’t succeeded the first time around, or the second, or even the third (and so on)—it does not mean that it’s time to give up. It means that it’s time to GET UP and to try again. And again.
Because when we do something over and over, like learning to ride a bike, eventually that miracle happens. One day we wake up and we can do it without thinking. That new healthy habit has taken root, residing on its own in that place we call our procedural memory… deep inside of our beautiful mind.
God really IS great.
Thank you for reading! I hope you found something interesting or enjoyable here.
Three Things Challenge #224: Bed, Young, Curious