The word for this year chez fibermom is “Clean,” but I’ve been reading, thinking, and working on habits.

#1 daughter had some thoughts on this.

“What if you were offered a job and told that you had to work on specific things at specific times and could only write on Thursdays?” she asked me. “What if you had lots of rules and had to do everything a particular way?”

I probably wouldn’t accept it.

“You’re a Squiggle,” she said, “and you’re building a box around your work. No wonder you feel stressed.”

She has a point.

She went on to report that she has given up her fast food habit, difficult as it was to do so. Some habits, that is, are actually habits and worth taking up or giving up. But some habits are pointless.

I’ve been listening to Mary Roach’s Gulp! and just heard the chapter on Fletcherizing. I already knew about Fletcherizing, of course, but I hadn’t known that it was actually peddled as a way to cut down on food for soldiers and the poor — that is, a way to cut costs for the government.

In any case, Fletcherizing was the practice of chewing food until it became liquid and left the mouth through “involuntary swallowing.” This could be considered a habit, but it is an unseemly and pointless habit.

I think that the Rich Habits are good for me, as are my healthy habits, and even making the bed. But it is possible that the joy I used to find in my work is being eroded by my attempts to organize things beyond the point that I, as a Squiggle, can tolerate.

I’m going to back off on my attempts to make everything habitual. But I will still work toward 8 solid hours of sleep each night, no-decision healthy meals, 10k steps, and working toward goals.