Column: Breaking Habits

©artwork by Charles Bals / Another Slang

It’s always easy when it comes to habits: You don’t have to think much and can act instinctively, almost like you’re remotely proposing ideas to a robot. My morning routine, with a three-minute commute to the office, goes something like this: a stop in my favorite café, which is my favorite café because maybe I’ll see a few people, but only the kind of people I can stand in the morning. That is to say, other than the people behind the counter who know what I want to order and I can flip through the first few feature pages of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as the café latte with soymilk is being prepared.

Four hundred milliliters of liquid in a takeaway cup is a definite guarantee that you’ll get through the day. If someone had suggested to me at the celebration of our foundation that I would meet my end with an espresso overdose, I would have given them a very even stare. And then held my ground. Of course, I denied that all of the acids (which I honestly felt in my body) weren’t doing me any good.

And so the summer was accompanied by a weekend series of exploitations visited upon my body, and suddenly I was laying there: My circulation had taken on a life of its own shortly after a green smoothie and my favorite coffee. Not once, no, a few times. Unconsciously, two days later, I forgot the drink from hell and things got better. Then came Monday and the whole dilemma started over again.

You can guess where I’m going with this: From one day to the next I quit the stupid habit, I couldn’t take the smell anymore and didn’t even miss the taste. That was nine weeks ago. At first I considered, wasn’t it actually a little ridiculous to simply leave a habit that had been cultivated over years? Sure, they say it takes six weeks to change the polarity of the brain, and I can attest to that. And lo and behold: Green tea, which is much healthier anyways, is actually good for me. My mid-afternoon fatigue is gone and I sleep better.

And because this isn’t enough, here’s a little anecdote: for years (as an enthusiastic jogger) I refused to even approach a yoga mat. When Veronika and I were in New York, and I was taking an eternity to arrive, she wrote to me one morning: “I just had a private session with Krissy Jones through the Nike concierge service. It was mind blowing. Please do something good for yourself and go!” Yeah, yeah – pushy V.

Sometimes it just takes one of these kinds of urgings, one moment where you can be reached for change, to turn off the control and your security in the familiar and outwit yourself to overcome hurdles. Through your own strength or because you’re somehow indirectly thrown over the hurdle. You just have to let it happen – and as in the case with an hour booked with Krissy which opens the lungs and hips – after getting back to your familiar habits, you’re likely to be so positively influenced that you can’t imagine a life without it. Have I mentioned that all this is pretty fantastically compatible with a seemingly inconsistent office routine?

Further reading: Even for Manrepeller the non-coffee theme is a theme.


Translation: Alicia Reuter