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The Grey Matters

Habits VS Traits… and the Worst Ones at That

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Day 24: Your 3 worst traits

Trait, definition: a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person

When I read today’s topic, I immediately thought of habits rather than traits. I have some bad habits.

They include but are not limited to rambling/talking way too much, still listening to Taylor Swift, letting anger get in the way, eating the exact same meal (peas and eggs) for oh, four years at a time, and being very impulsive and acting on those impulses. I also “cuss” quite a bit. (Or “swear”, as the midwesterners call it.)

I was thinking about all of these {almost} negative things and more, wondering if it counted for today.

Maybe there isn’t really a difference between a trait and a habit? I can’t decide. If you have any ideas on the matter, let me know.

Perhaps a trait is something that’s harder to change. Maybe habits are something that come and go a little easier in life.

Days keep lining up well with my blog topics, so today I had some major reflection on my traits in relation to what was talked about at church this morning. The sermon largely involved a verse from Ephesians.

Ephesians 4: 1-6

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spririt through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

The words I’m going to highlight here are humble, patient and love.

Worst trait #1

I’m not always as humble as I should be. I can be either too proud or too self-effacing, and neither of those exactly fit the bill. Humble, as was pointed out today, is not saying, “I’m no good, in fact, I suck at this.” It’s one thing to have confidence and an encouraging demeanor for yourself. It’s another thing entirely to put yourself down. Finding a good medium here is the trick. I want to live a humble life, still knowing that I can in fact, do big things that can make a difference.

Worst trait #2

I tell myself I’m patient. Hell, I’ve even written down “patient” on resumes. I can act patient, and sure, things don’t annoy me all the time. When it’s working, it’s something I largely attribute to being a youngest kid, having a chance to obvserve the world around me. But when I’m truly faced with something that gets on my nerves, I fall short often. I let my patience run dry this week. It wasn’t fun for anyone involved, and I think I made a mistake. Eventually I dealt with the issue and then everyone involved felt better. But closing myself off and wearing my (angry and annoyed) heart on my sleeve wasn’t what I should have done. It’s hard to be patient. I know I’m getting better at this, but I’d say, to some degree, it’s still a worst trait of mine.

Worst trait #3

I could love a whole lot more.

I almost renounced that word altogether for a while. It’s weird to remember that time and that feeling I had. I practically convinced myself that true love didn’t exist. I just didn’t know how to accept it and I didn’t know how to give it. I’d tried reading the “love is patient, love is kind” verse out loud with someone for a year, and it didn’t solve our problems. So what did I do with that? Just thought, “good riddance.” The rest of that phrase goes, “good riddance to bad rubbish.”

Love is not rubbish.

Love is probably the biggest gift we have in this life. We can even try to love people we don’t feel we like all that much. Love can mean different things. There’s all those different types those Greeks are always talking about. Right now, I’d say my biggest challenge is to find that brotherly love type. The kind that says, “we are friends, we support one another, we accept one another.”

Eventually, I’ll work on other kinds of love when the moments arise, but they’re all there in some shape or form every day. I no longer think good riddance about love, and I do try to read about love on my own. I try to remember that love includes all the things I fall short with…. patience and kindness and not keeping a record of wrong.

I’d want the same from others!!!!!

So, there you have it. A short and sweet diddy about what I do wrong every day. I have a hunch I’m not alone, but it’s easy to think that everyone’s doing a much better job at this than we are doing ourselves.

We can talk about all those impulsive and repetitive and silly habits later… some other day ;)


On another note: last night I went to my first midwestern sporting event. Didja know, Minnesota has a (profession, I think?!) soccer team? Anyway, here I am at this game.I had fun and spent time with a dear friend and some new friends. I even bought a shirt because the logo reminded me of my favorite brewery back home. It doesn’t really look anything like it, but it’s funny what missing something can do to the memory ;)



(I even kept myself from getting annoyed at the kid throwing bottle caps at us. J/k… he was like two years old! That’s actually pretty cute if you ask me.)

the shirt that really looks nothing like marble brewery :/ womp womp

the shirt that really looks nothing like marble brewery :/ womp womp



Author: Melinda Haas

Melinda is a writer, blogger, artist and teacher. She lives in Wisconsin with her family.

One thought on “Habits VS Traits… and the Worst Ones at That

  1. I always enjoy reading your blog and often want to share my feelings, but I don’t want to be the “frequent comment-er”. Also, I can’t ever remember my login to WordPress – ha! This blog topic sure makes for an introspective (negative) experience, but I wish it had allowed you to identify your best traits, too! I think everyone struggles with patience, love, and leading a humble life… some are just better at hiding it than others :-) Don’t be too hard on yourself. Spend some time focusing on what you do right and strive to do it more often. The “wrong” things will fade away.

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