A Creature of Habit, Part 1

As I see it, there are two ways to be a Creature of Habit: through your big lifestyle choices, and through your everyday routines. Today I will focus on the big stuff, and tomorrow on the little stuff!

First up are your huge life choices – such as education, careers, relocations, partnering and child-rearing. Each of those can involve big risks. More often, a slow accumulation of choices eventually becomes your life! But no matter how many leaps you take into the unknown, The Everyday catches up with you.

So where does your caution-versus-risk ratio start? First, with temperament: are you a drama queen? A bean-counter in training? Next, with encouragement: were you nudged toward new goals, or held back with an iron fist (or worse yet, tears?) Is your life on a plateau right now? Are you climbing or coasting? Expecting changes or avoiding them?

I have always loved order and symmetry and anticipating the comforts of the known. My idea of discovery is finding out something new from a book or a phone call or out on a walk…not quitting my job at the spur of the moment to spend 6 months in Thailand!

Dar = spontaneous and unpredictable: I think not!

For me, a risk might be starting a new job, bringing home a new kitten, or, harkening back to 2008, marrying someone from the UK that I met online 🙂 In between these Big Leaps, I am a mild-mannered librarian. I don’t expect to be facing any major changes for a while, so I am coasting. While it lasts.

What is your Stodge Factor? I think mine is 10.

Here are the things that make me boring. This may even be an abbreviated list. Maybe my stodginess goes to ELEVEN!

These go to eleven!

  1. I work 9 to 5.
  2. I’m married.
  3. I own a house.
  4. I have to take care of a yard and two pets.
  5. I visit my parents and other relatives regularly.
  6. My idea of entertainment is reading books and watching movies.
  7. I keep my house both clean and organized.
  8. I wear a lot of black, brown and grey clothes.
  9. I bring lunch to work every day and cook dinner every night.
  10. If I try to watch TV, I fall asleep.

I didn’t end up like this by default, but by choice. Because I didn’t want this life:

  1. Every time my contract job ends, I shlep around to find another, and put off paying bills for a while.
  2. I’m single, because I want to keep my options open. I don’t get too attached to anyone, because I might be closing the door on someone I haven’t met yet.
  3. I like my apartment but I have to be home on Wednesday nights because that’s my assigned time slot for the laundry room.
  4. My house plants keep dying. I had to give my cat away because I’m never home after work.
  5. I drifted away from my family after I left home.
  6. My idea of entertainment is karaoke on the weekends, and bungee-jumping in New Zealand whenever I can afford it.
  7. My place is a wreck, but who cares – I’m never home!
  8. I spend half my income on my wardrobe, because I like to be seen.
  9. I order in and eat out as much as possible because cooking is so tedious; plus, everything I buy just spoils before I have time to cook it.
  10. I fall asleep with my laptop in bed at 4 a.m.

Which life would you prefer? I will take stodgy any day! Or rather, I think the second life is stodgy. It’s just cool stodgy.

On a more serious note, I think it comes down to what is more important to each person, freedom FROM or freedom TO. The greater focus might be on avoiding commitments or on keeping commitments – both of which can be very important at different times in your life.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2: Stodge Around the Clock! (How many things do you do at the same time every day? Let’s count and see!)


  1. SarahN

    Ah love this post! What you call stodge, I’ve just stumbled upon as ‘adult’. At 27 it’s come to roost! I’m in the stodge pile for the following (ah your list inspire mine!)
    1. Own my own place
    2. Clean my own place (ie time and energy to do it – rather than outsourcing)
    3. I eat in more than out (but spend more eating out than in – sigh)
    4. I bring lunch 4 times a week with a planned outing with a colleague pre-negoiated!
    5. I pay all my bills on time or early!
    6. I call and visit my parents regularly
    7. I volunteer (almost weekly) with my church and water polo club
    8. I finish dinner and clean up by 7pm and watch a few hours of TV (and too many nights without this I feel unhinged!)
    9. If it’s not blue (of any shade), black, white or teal, well, you sure I own it? (esp clothes, but homewares too!)

    But then I’m not adult cause:
    1. I’m single (and semi scared to invite someone into my life to ruin stodgy… or hurt me!)
    2. I ride a scooter (talk about reckless – one bung elbow, and later a bung shoulder – could I not just BUY A CAR?!)
    3. I still want to climb the harbour bridge, and fly first class, and do crazy stuff!

    Thanks for the post – loving it!

  2. Pingback: Signs of Ageing (+ Bonus Old Geezer Test) « An Exacting Life

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