Thursday, November 10, 2011

"We are

what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”
– Aristotle

Let that one sink in for a few minutes. The more times I read that the more I love it. The more I've decided I should live by it. The more I think it should be my mantra.

It's powerful. It's profound. It's simple. Excellence is a habit. Wow.

I believe that's a habit I'd like to have. It surely is easy to make something a habit. I know because Monday I started eating one funsize frozen Snickers when I got home and today, Thursday, a mere three days later, it's part of my daily ritual and I'm discombobulated if I don't get it. Yesterday I forgot and within five or ten minutes of walking into the house my mouth was watering and I was craving chocolate, caramel and peanuts. Exactly two frozen bites of it. What do you want to bet it takes me longer to break that habit than it did to establish it???? WHY is that? Grrrr. I digress. The point is, it drove home for me the fact that I can establish a habit within a short matter of days. Why shouldn't it be a fabulous habit? One I don't ever WANT to break???

Recently I started back to school. The group of 'kids' I attend with are late teens and early twenties, for the most part. They drag in at 9:00am, talk about how tired they are, how they couldn't get out of bed, their MOM had to call them SEVEN times before they got up.

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. Their MOM???? SEVEN times???? Don't anyone tell my nine year old. He's gonna feel SO hornswoggled.

One of these girls, rubbing her eyes with one hand and propping her head up with the other, peeps through her half shut slits and says, in my general direction, "Miz Caren, how in the HELL do you have so much energy this early in the morning???"

Early? EARLY? Give me strength. Any Mom knows that 9:00am is about lunchtime. When your day begins at 5:45am with two loads of laundry, a shower, getting something into the crockpot for dinner, making three lunches, signing four papers your kids forgot last night, writing a check for the field trip (again, said child forgot last night), feeding two dogs, throwing two coats of mascara on inbetween all that, then getting the kids to school and getting myself to school, all by 8:15 -- and lovin' every second of it ----- 9:00am is NOT early.

So my reply? Well, what I WANT to say? "How in the heck are you so SLEEPY at 9:00am???" You are burnin' daylight, lil girl!!! Energy is a state of mind. You ain't gonna acquire it slopped over the table like that with your head in your hands."
What I say: "Energy is lots more fun. It's a decision."

That's when the student next to me said "Hey! Aristotle said that, right?"

"I don't know," I said. But he shoulda, if he didn't. So I looked it up when I got home. Here's what the gal next to me was thinking of:

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

Wow. So, I think, is energy. So, I think, is a good attitude. So, I think, is a thoughtful and loving countenance.

I think I would've liked Aristotle.

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