Breaking bad habits for the New Year

Happy New Year to everyone!

What bad habits are you going to try to swear off for the New Year?

A recent conversation in the middle seat of the minivan:

  • 6-year-old: Dad, if you crack your knuckles you can’t have any ice cream for a month. I’m trying to stop your habitat [habit].
  • Me: Are you going to follow any rules, like brushing your teeth every night, or are you just going to make rules for adults?
  • 6-year-old: I’m just going to make rules for adults. I’m Joe Biden.
  • 8-year-old: If you’re Joe Biden, then give me money. I’m not working, so give me money. If you don’t give me money then you’re a fake Joe Biden.

Another fun conversation was in Naples, Florida, where we saw multiple Rolls-Royces and Ferraris every hour that we were downtown. This sparked a conversation regarding what were the world’s most expensive cars. The 8-year-old settled on a $28 million Rolls-Royce for himself. A short time later, we happened to see a Bentley and I pointed it out. The 8-year-old scoffed, “Those are common. A Bentley is for un-rich people.” (His first language is Russian (via mom and grandparents) so he didn’t have ready access to the English word “poor”.)

[Note that we haven’t attempted to persuade our kids of the merits of any particular politician, just answered their questions regarding why people might want to vote for Biden (“he promised to give people who don’t work extra money”) or Trump (“he promised to keep taxes and regulation low, which would be good for people who are trying to run small businesses”).]

4 thoughts on “Breaking bad habits for the New Year

  1. There’s no doubt in this man’s mind that your irrepressible sense of humor is a direct result of participating in conversations with your kids. That, and capturing videos of Mindy the Crippler attempting to chase squirrels into palm trees. They’re both good habits, so please do not swear them off. In fact, “overhearing” your kids this way makes me remember my dad’s prediction when I was young boy: the “Life Locket” – a pendant given to you at birth to wear around your neck that would record your entire life. I love the conversations you have with your kids, ROTFL, and although it would be an awkward thing to have, we’re really not that far from the “life locket” now.

    I thought seriously last night about Swearing Off Facebook, but decided instead to put a fixed time limit/day on it: 30 minutes at the most. It’s really my worst habit, sometimes consuming as much as three or four hours, and that’s out of control in my book. I’ll make more trips to the range and shoot more as partial compensation and rebudget the rest of the time.

    Which brings me back around to something I’ve wanted to ask: in my experience, you’re an exceptionally well-organized person when it comes to your time. You moved to Florida without missing a single day of blog posting, for example. There are an endless number of examples of how you squeeze the most out of your waking, productive hours. What is your secret, and when/how did you learn it? I’d be grateful if you gave us a glimpse of that.

    Happy New Year!

    • Alex: Thanks for the kind words. The blog apparent discipline is simple: WordPress lets me schedule a post to go live some days or weeks in the future (I use this to remind myself to check how predictions turned out, though I probably don’t need to because nearly all of my predictions have proven false).

    • ScarletNumber; We were on a fishing pier tonight in Juno Beach. I’m incompetent so I got the folks next to us to tie the lure onto our line. It turned out that they were refugees from tyranny (he from Maskachusetts, she from Soviet Ukraine). They got us involved in their friend’s quest to catch a massive shark or jack by using a 2 lb. ladyfish as bait. Some huge fish did actually grab this and ran out the big game expert’s line. Eventually the fish got away, though. Without any prompting, the boys came up with schemes to improve the chances of success on the next try. One idea was a “gun at the end of the hook” and you could remotely trigger the gun from the rod, thus shooting the unfortunate fish who had grabbed the bait. The 6-year-old then said he wanted to attach a buoy near the hook so that he would be able to see where the desire fish was. Then he would drop a “bomb” on the fish from the pier to stun or kill it. In other words, he independently developed the idea of dynamite fishing. (I explained that this was not considered sportsmanlike.)

      (Apropos of nothing: We also saw a school of cownose rays from the pier at sunset. The last time we were there we saw a sea turtle. Water temp right now is 77 degrees and air temp was 84. There is no reason to go through Covid testing hell to get to/from the Caribbean, in my opinion!)

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