The Robot Co-op

Meaty Eggplant - Snowy Donuts

October 4, 2006 · 3 Comments

Berikster McLenson won at credit card roulette today and entrusted me with the words we shared at lunch. We’re all about habits on Mutual Improvement this month and it’s no wonder that the topic found its way into our lunchtime chatter. Much like our half meat/half eggplant pizza, we defined two separate but similar sides of the same pie: habits and routines.

During my years in Anchorage it once snowed 4 feet in a 24 hour period. The building my parents owned and ran the family business out of was just down the road from our house. It had a flat roof. My dad woke me up around 5am and we went over to shovel off the roof before it had a chance to cave in. That was somewhat of a life altering event for me. I mean who wants to wake up at 5am in the middle of the winter to go shovel? Not me. But we had to. It took a lot of personal will … but there also was company in our misery (we had each other). We finished up around 8am and headed straight downstairs to open up the business.

Now for the life of me I can’t remember how at lunch we separated habits out from routines! I feel like shoveling the flat roof became a habit and that opening the doors for business every day was a routine. I see habits as little programs we create that run like clockwork. Routines are clockwork that simply organizes our lives. Habits are so ingrained that we may not know we’re running the “chew my nails” program until people give us that look. Conversely, it’s much simpler to develop a new morning routine to fit, say, a new job or fall semester.

Thinking back to the old “time to make the donuts” Dunkin Donuts ad campaign, I wonder where habits and routine intersect. That seems like a case where someone’s routine (his job was to make the donuts) became his habit (if he were fired, he’d likely still show up to make the donuts).

Can somebody help me out?

Categories: Uncategorized

3 responses so far ↓

  • Ben Hosken // October 5, 2006 at 12:25 am | Reply

    I’ve recently been thinking a lot about the intersection between “habits” and “rituals”. For instance, when I wake up in the morning, it is a habit to put on the kettle for breakfast stuff but at the same time, is my morning coffee making a habit or a ritual? The care I take in grinding the fresh beans, tamping the coffee just so and then the pleasure taken in a good crema. Yet it is also a habit.

    Your comments lead me to wonder if the spectrum from ritual to habit to routine could be defined by the level of care and attention taken when performing the act?

  • Daniel // October 5, 2006 at 7:53 am | Reply

    I think you’re onto something with ‘level of care’. I might throw in intention/will and conscious/subconscious behavior. Habits seem closer to subconscious programs that we run regularly — be they good or bad habits. Routines seem to hold more intention and personal will. Yeah?

  • Ben Hosken // October 5, 2006 at 1:15 pm | Reply

    I think intention ties in with ritual such that if you care you generally have good intent. I haven’t considered “bad” habits, such as nail biting, which often seem to be more subconcious rather than concious. So…I agree….its level of care, intent and conscious/subconscious :-)

Leave a Comment