A habit is a tendency.

An addiction is a compulsion.

A routine is a sequence performed regularly.

Today in my ab workout, I was pleasantly surprised by the slightest better balance in the dreaded crab kick. But I was bummed out overall by how deeply and strongly I did not want to do my ab workout. I still did it, but doing what I was supposed to brought no joy or sense of accomplishment, on a dull annoyance that I will probably always have to be dragged toward my responsibilities. (That’s the start of my anxiety cycle, I suspect. This feeling of unfortunate unease that nothing will ever meaningfully be different.) It is the way this feeling returns and returns that eventually erodes all my routines. I have bad habits and addictions. I need routines.

Today I read a bit about Haruki Murakami’s running habit in How to Think About Exercise by Damon Young. It’s from the School of Life books and I bought it last year when I was struggling to replace running while I was injured. My schedule was not accommodating and my hip was fucking killing me. I did not finish the book then, and the advice was so good that I blocked much of it. So I’ll re-read it this month, along with other mind-body texts. At the time, I wanted to like something other than jogging, which seems to be the only thing that keeps me from getting too fat for my clothes, but also: I wanted a different relationship with exercise.

It still feels like an obligation, and I cannot help (I have tried, oh lord, have I tried) but feel deep and abiding resentment toward any obligation that doesn’t grow out of my affection for someone else.  I’ve got a couple more weeks to see if I can at least move the needle a little on that one.

I also sucked up all my fears and asked a colleague for a letter of recommendation. Will I ever stop feeling like any favor anyone ever does for me is obviously against their better judgement and owes everything to luck and wishes, instead of my own work ethic and general alrightness? CLIFFHANGER.

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