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Too much chocolate? Too much shopping? What are habits or addictions you just can’t kick? Serious or lighthearted, everyone has one (or several) things that they just can’t quit. It could be a person that you won’t kick out of your life, a drug, or anything in between!

My longest running “bad habit” was sucking my thumb! It all started when I was about 4. I was still using a pacifier and my mom (after considerable pressure from my grandma) wanted me to quit. She made a deal with me and said she would get me anything I wanted in the world if I would quit. At this time, and for a long time after, I was a major tomboy, so my one request was a fishing pole! We took a trip to Wal-Mart and I got a blue, Snoopy fishing pole! It was summertime, so I fished and fished with my mom and dad. At this time we were living at Fort Benning, Georgia so we would go out to the MWR campground on the Chattahoochee River (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW5UEW2kYvc) and go fishing. We fished all summer and then the inevitable happened, that bastion of fine craftsmanship, better known as my Wal-Mart, Snoopy fishing pole, broke! It was a tragedy, but I found a solution to get my parents back for their betrayal and their end of the deal falling through: I started sucking my thumb! It backfired for my mom, and her wish for me to quit my pacifier went up in smoke! Guess what? I sucked my thumb up into my 20s! I sucked my thumb all through high school, but it eventually decreased to just when I was sad or tired, then I would just do it in my sleep, and I haven’t done it in a few years now! Every once in a while I will wake up and have my thumb in my mouth, but I can’t really fix that, haha!

I have some other bad habits, or things I can’t stop doing: I curse a lot…more than I should. I’ve already established that I was an Army brat, but I was an Army brat with a dad in the infantry that did a 5 year stint at Fort Benning, Georgia as a drill sergeant, and then a few years as a Platoon Sergeant at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. So, as you can imagine, by 5th grade I’d heard all of the curse words a person can hear and was using them with my friends all the time. My parents were never really strict about me cussing (my mom  hates when I do it, but they still put up with it) so I just kept up with it. I only curse rarely at work or in other academic and professional situations, but get me behind the wheel of a car, become my close friend, or give me a few drinks and prepare for your ears to burn. I’m Catholic and I’ve successfully given up meat and salt for Lent before, but I tried to give up cursing and I made it 2 days! Another bad habit is my sleeping. I LOVE to sleep. I do think it’s genetic. My dad can sleep for days, literally. I didn’t sleep a lot when I was a kid, but since I was about 17 I’ve slept a lot. I can easily sleep 13 hours and I am more than happy to stay home and sleep rather than do other things. The weird thing about me is that it’s not about the amount of sleep I get, it’s about the time I have to wake up. As long as I can wake up after ten I feel rested, no matter what time I went to bed, but even if I go to bed at 7 p.m., if I have to wake up before 10 a.m., I want to go right back to sleep! The only exception is when I travel! If I am traveling, I can easily and happily run on a few hours of sleep and wake up at any hour, it’s weird. Other bad habits include drinking wine, procrastinating, and screening my calls. I go through phases where I don’t do anything bad, but in the end my habits come back around!

What is something you’ve tried to give up or stop doing that you just can’t kick? Do you have suggestions for others about how to beat bad habits?