Bitch on the Blog

September 1, 2016

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Filed under: Human condition,Intermittent despair,Psychology — bitchontheblog @ 09:31
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What is the difference between a routine and a habit?

Actually forget ‘habit’. Just looked up its current meaning in the dictionary and there appears to be an unhealthy emphasis on habit as an “addiction”. Which is not what I meant. Though, of course, one might reasonably argue that habit as an addiction doesn’t necessarily need to involve mind and body altering fluids and other substances – it might just be you being addicted (here we go again) to a habit. And why do people think only “bad” habits need to be broken? After all, if a bad habit makes you happy and doesn’t involve cruelty to anything living, then why break it?

Routine has its own problems. Are you even aware of having one? And if you do – does it unsettle you if your routine is upset by unforeseen circumstances?

And how do you change either routine or habit with least discomfort (to yourself)?

Please do let me know what you think before I tie myself into knots.



  1. Falling in love can be addictive but I don’t make a habit of it…….

    Routines? Well, I have to sort out my medications for the week on a Sunday Morning….. I used to do it on a Monday morning but things got out of kilter and the routine switched. It doesn’t feel “right” even after a year and I cannot find a way of changing back….

    Actually I think routines can become habits… like cleaning my teeth with a red toothbrush at night and a blue one in the morning…..

    Comment by magpie11 — September 1, 2016 @ 12:18 | Reply

    • “Falling in love can be addictive” – that, my dear Magpie, indicates that you are most likely to enjoy the chase more than the conquest.

      Commiserations on having to measure out your medication one week ahead. I don’t wish to go all Miss Marple or Hercules Poirot, but do you do spot checks throughout the week that all is well and still adds up?

      What do I know about people’s dental HABITS? Little. You are the first – and thanks for the laugh – who confides using two differently coloured toothbrushes according to time of day. “Red at night” – something to do how the sun sets? “Blue in the morning”? Considering that blue is the colour of hope what better way to start the day? Particularly on a Monday.

      Slightly jaundiced greetings (yellow being my favourite),

      Comment by bitchontheblog — September 1, 2016 @ 13:41 | Reply

      • Red Sky at night and so forth ….. Where the Blue of the Night Meets the Gold of the Day…… Bing Crosby from my childhood…..

        Comment by magpie11 — September 11, 2016 @ 15:32 | Reply

  2. I was addicted to cigarettes and it was my habit to light up the first thing on waking up in the morning and immediately after every meal/refreshment. I was also addicted to my evening quota of alcohol and on holidays for pre lunch lubrication as well. I quit both cold turkey and have had no ill effects whatsoever.

    Comment by rummuser — September 1, 2016 @ 15:12 | Reply

  3. I think routines and habits are the same – things you do on a regular basis day in and day out, and which seldom vary. It’s both my routine and my habit to have granola and bread-and-marmalade for breakfast every morning. I suppose you could argue that a habit is a single thing, like using a certain shampoo, while a routine is a whole series of habits, like what you do every morning, or how you plan for a holiday.

    Comment by nick — September 1, 2016 @ 18:03 | Reply

    • Excellent distinction, Nick. By your definition what I currently wish to break is my “first thing in the morning” routine which has become a habit. Nothing wrong with it. Just a bit boring in its predictability. First I log onto the news, then … I need to shake it up a bit. Not because I am bored with it. More like, you know, instead of always going the same way from A to B, you take a detour.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — September 3, 2016 @ 19:02 | Reply

  4. U seem to have a habit of tying yourself in knots. As for me, my one big hope is that all my bad routines and habits will be cured by death. Other than that, I have no good advice on conquering bad habits.

    Comment by Looney — September 2, 2016 @ 03:36 | Reply

    • Don’t worry, Looney. I know all there is to know about knots and how to disentangle them. I didn’t go to sailing school for nothing. And if all else fails there is always Alexander.(ref. Gordian knot) and the SWORD. One fell swoop. Or as we say in English “cutting through the crap”.

      Anyway, I wasn’t talking about “bad” habits, just habits and routines as such. In fact, I am convinced it’s easier to break a bad habit than just any old totally indifferent habit. Because with the former you have a motivation to break it, with the latter you just bumble along, same old, same old … till you run across grass covered in morning dew – barefoot.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — September 3, 2016 @ 19:04 | Reply

  5. In college I wrote a Sociology paper on the subject that we live by habit. Life would be too stressful if we had to really think about every decision we make daily (got an A – LOL). So now you are saying the definition of habit was firmly etched in waater and that paper would be about routine. Well fuggum I say – six of one a half dozen of the other. They both stand for the same thing – decisions that do not really require thought.

    Comment by shackman — September 2, 2016 @ 14:27 | Reply

    • Good point. Particularly if you are given to choice paralysis. Indecisive by another name.

      Still, I do think that occasionally we should observe ourselves from the outside in, go back to the drawing board, evaluate and devise a new time table. Shake feathers. New sun, new dawn … and all that.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — September 3, 2016 @ 19:01 | Reply

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