More Habits: Work Credit, Bonus Fruit, and Household Member of the Week

I’ve been planning to write more about habits. And since late January is the traditional “good-bye new year’s resolutions” period it seems like motivation is a good place to start.
Weirdly, though, I am easily motivated by meaningless ephemeral systems. Like “points.” Not everyone is like this. A friend recently remarked, in an irritated fashion, about a work place program, “I’m just not motivated by stickers.” Well, I’m motivated by the equivalent of invisible stickers.
To backtrack—people sometimes accuse me and my husband Rich of living in a world of own. This might be true. For example, we pretend our car is an airplane (it is more elaborate than that, but I don’t want to embarrass myself). We have “household member of the week award” which doesn’t actually exist and is given (or claimed) only occasionally. We have the extremely bizarre “bonus fruit” system where you get “extra credit” for eating the most ripe and plentiful produce. And we have “work credit.”
Work credit derives from the fact that Rich lived for many years on the egalitarian commune Twin Oaks. There really was work credit there—and it could be used for something. I’ve spent many idle minutes imagining how I’d have done at Twin Oaks (I’m co-operative but also a rebel and like to beat a system.) So I’d muse—I wonder if I could get work credit at Twin Oaks for such and such an activity. Fascinatingly, at the real Twin Oaks, a mother got work credit for nursing—what a great idea! The upshot was—I wanted household “work credit” for gardening. Rich said it was worth only “half” work credit. And I got really mad. But why? Work credit was just made up. Because I can be motivated by points.
For example, my exercise most days consists of 10,000 steps a day. I once read that Mao Tse-tung did this, not that a dictator’s exercise program should be a role model. My two dollar pedometer just shows the number of steps. Everything counts—walking, housework, dancing, tread mill . The truth is, I’m not really motivated by “Health”—too big and vague. I like to walk. I like to count.
The hits on this blog motivate me, although that is a bit trickier. Because as my original millennial blog mentor told me, “you can’t write to the hits.” But the fact that I can SEE the hits is part of what keeps me going.
So, what about procrastination. There are some big items that never come off my to do list. Cleaning up a storage shed. Some standard medical tests and shots. I’m afraid of both that storage unit and medically anxious in general. I need work credit. A lot of it.

7 thoughts on “More Habits: Work Credit, Bonus Fruit, and Household Member of the Week

  1. Oh Mir, this speaks to me. I count steps and count hits and both keep me going. I’m going to start a household member of the week award in my home – it’s an easy win, I live alone.

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