i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

Bad habits creep back when you aren’t looking, or, what happened to my basement?

My basement is a mess again.


It’s a very bad habit to put off disagreeable things…
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

A few months ago, I told you I cleaned my basement. Yes, it was clean. All the boxes were neatly stacked in a little corner of the basement. And, I sort of bragged.

Hey, look at me, look at what I did. I told you How to deal with a problem that seems impossible. Believe you can do it. Then do it and don’t quit.

The basement is clean

“Hey Mom, the basement smells musty.”

“It does?”

The basement did smell musty. All of the boxes I had stacked in the corner of the basement smelled like mold. The boxes had been put in an area that  had no air circulation.

The boxes were taken out of the storage area and placed beside the ping-pong table. They have been sitting there for several weeks. The clutter has spread and I don’t want to deal with the mess. AND, I really didn’t want to tell you my basement was a mess again.

But, being honest is better than pretending.

Once again the ping-pong table, Joola, is crying.

“Please, please Mrs. Hodges will you get rid of some of your things. Do you really want to keep everything you have every made? Wouldn’t you rather create new things and play ping-pong?”

“Yes, yes, Joola, I would like to play ping-pong and create new things.”

“Perhaps you should read your own story. Just believe you can do it and do it.”

Joola is getting a bit snarky. Perhaps I should sell her.

So, it appears that cleaning the basement is not a one time deal. It appears  bad habits need to be dealt with more than once.

Ann of Avonlea is right. It is a very bad habit to put off disagreeable things.

An argument between Bad Habit’s and  Good Habit’s.

1. Good  Habit says, “Listen to Benjamin Franklin, Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.’ Mr. Franklin would tell you to clean your basement today.”

Bad Habit says, “Now why would you want to do that? You should listen to Mark Twain, ‘Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well’.  Really, you can clean your basement tomorrow.”

2. Bad Habit says, “Drive to the hardware store and buy a new hammer if you can’t find the one you didn’t put away. What’s the big deal?”

Good Habit says, “Buying a new hammer is wasteful. The cost of gas plus the cost of the hammer is expensive. And now you have ten hammers in the basement, and you keep tripping on them.”

3. Bad Habit says, “Don’t clean your basement and get rid of anything, you don’t have to create anything new. Just keep dusting off your past.”

Good Habit says, “Stop dusting and get rid of clutter. Clean your basement and create.”

Do your bad habits creep back on you when you aren’t looking?

Mine do.

The basement will get clean.


Today I want to write. Which is a good habit.


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Janelle

    Poor Joola. Pamela, we need good “maintenance” habits, don’t we!

    • Yes, we do Janelle. What does your basement look like?

  • Robn Patrick

    Wow, the voices in your head are the same ones in my head!

    • Robin, does the voice in your head say,”That is a great haircut Robin. You are really rocking the bob.”
      Because that is what the voice in my head said when it saw your photograph.