Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Old habits



Every Monday I take a journey on a bus to visit my friends at their pub. I leave my trusty car by the roadside thus removing the threat of a driving ban should I imbibe to excess.

I have been making this journey every Monday for the last 2 years, and it has become increasingly apparent that as people get older they tend to become creatures of habit. Spontaneity jumps out of the window. The sense of adventure hides in a safe place.

I know that when I arrive at the bus stop I will find an elderly man standing with a folded copy of The Times. He will be doing the Sudoku puzzle. I know that I will see a tiny lady pacing up and down and consulting her wrist watch every couple of minutes.

When the bus arrives in the village of Horam, a large old lady will alight, sit in the front seat and go about her weekly ritual of unwrapping a sausage roll, examining it then nibbling at it depositing a pile of crumbs on the floor. Further on an old couple will get on. He will sit in one seat and his wife in another, two rows behind. At the next stop an old boy will get on and say to the old couple “Hello Gladys. Hello Ted“.

When I arrive at the pub the same old people will be sitting in the same old seats as last Monday. If there is someone sitting on the seat at the extreme right of the bar they will give it up for me. I know we will discuss 1) the weather. 2) the football 3)trade
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Old people are creatures of habit, and it’s depressing. Nothing budges them from their daily ritual. Breakfast at the same time morning. Lunch similarly. They will watch the same television programmes every day. They go to bed at the same time each night.
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When I finished work last Saturday night my customary pint of beer was waiting on the bar. As per normal I followed it with a half of beer. As usual I left at 22.45. As always I arrived at the Rother Kebab Take-away at 23.05. When I walked through the door my Turkish friend said “Your usual Cheffie? Lamb Khofte with extra onions, chilli sauce and garlic?” He then shuffled through the pile of newspapers on the counter and handed me the Eastbourne Herald. He knows I like to read it every Saturday.

And then I realised. I'm no different. I guess I’m getting older. As I said, it’s depressing.

7 comments:

  1. Ahhh not depressing but certainly we are all creatures of habit it just happens lol. Enjoy atleast you know what to expect and if it isn't what you expect then you know that something is going to happen.

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  2. Sometimes old habits can be like a security blanket Keith, it's the thing that can bring us comfort. Yet, try one time to do something different within that ritual like sit in a different seat and see the world from it if only for a moment, who knows what you may encounter lol. Have a great evening kiddo.

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  3. Old habits are comfortable. That is why they die hard!

    Happy thanksgiving to you Keith!

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  4. some habits are worth keeping...they provide you with sense of peace to know that the world is right where you left it...

    but you can choose to add one variant along the way to make it more exciting...

    and you are as old as you feel...

    take care...

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  5. I drink two cups of coffee every morning, after feeding the beasties. I like to bring them in before dark. The rest of the day could be anything. Creatures of habit..., I haven't grown up yet.

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  6. Ah yes Keith, there really can be comfort in habits!!!!

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  7. Why not surprise yourself from time to time? Try something different at the turkish place, you may not like it but hey you might just adore it, or how about catching that bus at a different time or sitting next to someone new at the pub, and striking a conversation, it might tire you and the old habits become more fun again OR the depression is out the window..:) One can be old and grey and still feel young at heart - my grandma taught me that. She is in her mid-eighties, but she can entertain a toddler or an adult...so dont forget to try something adventurous :) -after all - when would we experience all this if not in this life?

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