life & love


good habits

So James and I have been living together for almost a year now. We talked about the whole cohabitation thing for quite a while after graduating before we decided to go for it.

I think we were a little afraid of moving in together straight out of college because 1. we were trying to get on our career paths and didn’t want any distractions and 2. we didn’t want to end up killing/hating each other.

When we did finally decide to take the plunge, like probably everyone else on the planet whose ever moved in with their beaux, I panicked. I had that moment of realization that moving in with my significant other meant I was about to learn all the weird, gross things about him that have so far he had been able to hide from me.

Luckily enough, James doesn’t seem to have many gross habits to hide. There are little things here and there that make me cringe or driver me borderline crazy, but nothing that truly disgusts me. Except maybe that one time when he confessed that he was referring to my cookie sheets as “chicken trays.”

Actually, the longer I live with James, the more I realize that he actually is a pretty solid roommate and that I’m kind of the gross one. It is with this new enlightenment that I started to consider all of the good habits he has that I c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ should pick up.

Here are the top four:

1. Brushing my teeth twice a day: For whatever reason, my parents never really forced the whole brushing your teeth before bed thing. Whether it’s because they didn’t do it themselves or they just didn’t think it was a big deal my sister and I always got away with just brushing in the morning before we left the house.

James on the other hand NEVER misses this nightly ritual. I often find myself guilty after we both crawl into bed and his mouth smells minty-fresh and mine… well, doesn’t. I’m proud to say that I have only had two tiny cavities in my 23 years, so I don’t think I’m necessarily doing anything wrong. However, I think I could positively say I’m doing something better if I commit to brushing before bed. Starting today I’m going to try to make this part of my before-bed routine. I’ll keep you posted.

2. Cleaning the apartment at least once per week: I have a hard time understanding that just because the apartment isn’t disgusting doesn’t mean it couldn’t benefit from a little tidying up. I typically only channel my inner Mr. Clean when the dishes have piled up for days, I can no longer see my floor because it’s covered with dirty clothes, and the level of dust on the bookshelf would put an asthma patient into a coma.

Whenever James requests that we “clean this place up a little bit,” I respond with a loud, overly-exaggerated groan and something about how he’s a psycho for thinking we need to wipe down the counters and vacuum every three days. I sort of changed my mind about this on Sunday when I came home from yoga feeling super fresh and relaxed and decided to legit clean the apartment. I felt even better after I had finished and realized maybe James had a point.

3. Stop making excuses to skip working out: I’ve never been big on hitting the gym. Outside of gym class in middle school and all the walking I did up and down the hills of Athens, Ohio, I pretty much never did anything that could be considered exercising. Usually I defend myself by saying I clearly don’t need to exercise because I’m not getting fat, but that could come back to haunt me some day. Also I’m sure I’m not what anyone would call “healthy” even if I’m not overweight.

So this year I decided to turn over a new leaf. I still didn’t like the idea of going to the traditional gym, so I signed up for a free trial at a yoga studio 15 minutes from my apartment. Turns out I absolutely love it. And yet that doesn’t seem to be motivation enough to keep me going. I often find myself coming up with excuses not to go: I’m tired, I have a headache, I don’t have time. But of course, James goes pretty much every day without fail unless he is seriously sick/injured. I don’t know how he does, but I hope some of his motivation rubs off on me soon.

4. Be more optimistic: I can be such a hypocrite sometimes. I’m always telling my friends & family to stay positive, keep their chins up and hope for the best. Do I ever take that advice for myself? Uhmmmm, that would be a no. I find myself going negative all the time. I claim that this is simply “realism” when in fact it’s good old fashioned pessimism.

James’ bright and happy outlook on everything can be a little exhausting sometimes. Like I just want to punch him in the face every now and then. But overall, I find it inspiring and find myself wishing I could look at things from his perspective. It’ll take some brain training to pick this one up, but I think I can do it with a little support from James. I might tell him to suck it when he gives me his pep talk, at least at first, but I’m sure that will fade with time.

What about you? Have you picked up any good habits from your girlfriend/boyfriend/just friend?


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