+Tuesday, July 05, 2005+
I have two notably bad habits that I've decided to spend the next 8 months kicking, and the old saying is true: old habits die hard. It's funny to me how in some ways these problems are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum - one of them will affect my mentality, the other, my physical well-being. Habit A is procrastination. Habit B (and I really hate to admit this, but they say admitting you having a problem is the first step to recovery) is smoking.

I am the worst procrastinator in the world. Occasionally I take it a step beyond procrastination and wade my toes in "slacking." Case in point? I should be working, but instead I'm updating my blog. It's taken many years to fine tune my procrastination into the wonder it is today, and unravelling all those years of "it can wait" is harder said than done. My motto thusfar has always been, "If it's still somewhat operational, don't fix it." My car is a good example of this, but here are a few others to whet your pallet: when not one but both of our toilets broke, I put off calling a plumber because the toilets were still fully functional as long as the water got shut off at the base every single time the toilet was flushed. When our washer started leaking, I was thankful to find the leak was not from the plumbing, but from the washer itself. The washer is still broken because it's fully functional as long as I make sure to turn off the water source as soon as the spin cycle is done.

Yikes, right? Who let this girl out into the "real" world? When Matt came home for his leave, one of the first things he did was call a plumber to fix the toilets. Between the time he called and the time our toilets were working the way toilets are supposed to work, it took about 2 hours. Two measely hours. It was then that I decided when I say I'm going to do something, I actually need to do it instead of putting it off for so long that my "priorities list" becomes my "I'll do it when I get to it" list. I'm taking it in baby steps for now, like getting my car fixed. I try to use my cell phone as a pseudo palm pilot, but whenever an alarm sounds to remind me of an event, I simply turn it off and forget about it. I thought about getting a planner, but I'd have to literally have the thing surgically attached for it to have any affect.

So far I've done an okay job of doing things when I say I'm going to do them, but it's going to take a little while. Like I said, I have years of finely tuned procrastinating to break. If things go according to plan, perhaps this year I'll actually send out Christmas cards. Last year I bought the bulk cards, wrote down all my friends' and families' addresses, and put them off till December 26 when it was too late and too pointless. In case you're wondering, the washer is still broken partly because Matt doesn't know it's broken and partly because I plan on getting a new one soon anyway. No point in fixing something that's just going to end up in a dumpster in a few months.

My habit of smoking is a whole different story. I've been smoking since I was 16. I'll be 23 in September; I'm still 2 years away from being eligible for cheaper car insurance, and already I've held the title of "smoker" for 7 years. Absolutely disgusting, but as a result, I'm a huge advocate of anti-smoking (or just a big fat hypocrite). I've tried (unsuccesfully, I might add) many times to quit smoking; I've tried the patch, the gum, biting my nails, telling myself that if I don't quit I'm going to die, but all to no avail. Quitting smoking is hard, and I curse the day I ever started. The addiction has become a codependency for me: stress and smoking go hand in hand, so while I thought that quitting smoking would be easier without Matt around (because he, too, was a smoker and we never had success quitting together), it's actually proven to be a good deal harder because, well, deployments equal stress. I don't have a plan of attack against my smoking habit yet, only the desire to someway somehow drop the habit. Suggestions and advice would be much appreciated. :-)

My 4th of July was mostly time with friends and celebrating America's 229th birthday! I went to Winnemucca to spend the 3-day weekend with my friend H, got insanely sunburnt, and got to do a radio interview as the fiance of a deployed soldier (H's dad owns and operates a radio station, incase you were curious as to how I landed the "gig"). The interview was a blast, mostly answers to questions about what Matt does in the army, where he's stationed, how I cope, what my advice to other people in the same situation would be, and aside from accidently referring to "helicopters" as "hotels," I'd have to say all in all it turned out really good.

The last question in the interview was whether or not I considered myself to be very patriotic. I'm not one to hang out red, white, and blue banners for the 4th, I didn't wear all three colors yesterday, but I think that the concept of patriotism goes much deeper than wearing the colors or sending out mass emails with GIFs of flags and poems written in red and blue. They make me happy, some of the poems even bring tears to my eyes, but I think more than anything the idea behind patriotism, in my opinion, is graciousness. Do you fully appreciate all the freedoms you have because you live in America? Before they deployed, Matt's commander told us, "Sometimes you have to give your country more than she's going to be able to give back," and that, to me, is patriotism. If you want to go a step beyond slapping a "Support our Troops" magnet on the back of your car, take it a step further and send a thank-you card to a soldier. September 11 brought about enormous amounts of pride, but I consider patriotism somewhat of a permanent entity - something that was here long before 9/11 and something that will still be here many years from now when Operations Enudring and Iraqi Freedom are chapters in our children's history books.

Yes, I consider myself to be very patriotic. I love America; I've always had a sense of awe at her accomplishments and her endurance. The tug I feel at my heart during an emotional rendition of "Star Spangled Banner" has been something I've experienced since my earliest memories and not just recently because my fiance is overseas. We are the greatest country in the world, and I am so proud of Matt for what he and all of our military men and women are doing. God bless America!

wishing matt was here @ 4:58 PM+

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *