I do some things the same way every time I do them. And, unlike the definition of insanity, I do expect the same result every time. That must be why I do it the same way: to get the same result. This does not mean I am not prone to bouts of insanity. It just means you’ll have to use a different definition to include me.
I’m as much a creature of habit as anyone else, perhaps more so. The problem is, I picked some really boneheaded habits to be a creature of. Remember, these are things I have been doing repeatedly, for years, knowing full well what the results will be. That’s probably just another definition of insanity.
Yes, I admit these are all stupid:
— I put ice cubes in a drink that’s already cold from the fridge, even when I’m going to gulp it down in the next two minutes. Then I throw the ice cubes into the sink to die.
— I won’t wear my house slippers into the dirty basement (I’ll slide into a pair of old clogs instead), but I’ll traipse out onto the dirty front porch to get the mail in those slippers. It’s not like I vacuum the porch…
— I can go a month without dusting the living room, but I’ll straighten all the throw pillows on the couch every time I walk by all day long, usually while mumbling about how careless some people are about such things.
— I keep in my office—set up and ready to use at a moment’s notice—a laptop computer, two desktop computers, a typewriter, three Alphasmarts, two printers, and enough paper and pens to fill a small pickup truck … and then I’ll complain that I have nowhere to do my writing.
— I tell myself that, if I grade three student papers a day, I won’t suffer trying to get them all in by the Tuesday midnight deadline each week … but every time Monday rolls around I haven’t touched any of them yet, and I spend the day putzing on Facebook and running errands to buy just the right lampshade, which means I spend Tuesday chained to my desk hearing the clock tick.
— I eat low-carb and jog up and down the huge staircases here, proud of myself for keeping my diabetes in check with simple changes instead of drugs or insulin… and then I stand too long at the checkout line in the grocery store and come home with a bag of Combos, which I eat all at once that same day.
— I start the day intending to finish writing that book soon, and then I find everything else on my mental to-do list (since I don’t dare actually write this stuff down) far more fascinating and fulfilling than writing. This includes, but is not limited to, washing smelly laundry, cleaning the bathroom grout around the toilet, mowing the lawn, and discussing politics with a stark raving lunatic.*
And I could go on forever, but I won’t because that lampshade still isn’t quite right.
Running the risk of confusing myself, I hope to start shaking up my routine a little bit in order to fool myself out of some of these vexing habits. Maybe I’ll give the Combos to a friend. Maybe I won’t walk by the typewriter, the laptop, and the Alphasmart as if I don’t even recognize them. Maybe I will log off this post and mark up a few student papers … on a Thursday. Maybe I’ll dust the whole first floor just because I can….
Okay, now I know I’ve gone too far. I really must be insane. And the least you could do is look surprised.
*I may or may not be referring to specific relatives.