Leave the Lights On

Leave the Lights OnMy wife and I have our house for sale. Our realtor advised us to turn on all the lights throughout the house prior to a showing. The theory is this makes the house more inviting and keeps potential buyers from searching for light switches, possibly in the dark. Though this makes sense, it so goes against my nature.

As we prepared for our first showing, I dutifully went through the house turning on lights. Then I subconsciously turned half of them off. Even after a second pass, I still turned one off as I walked by the switch. Realizing I could not be trusted with such an important task, my wife told me to not move as she retraced my route and checked my work.

After multiple showings, I’m finally able to fully accomplish this task, but my wife still feels she should verify my work. In this case it’s probably a good idea.

After spending decades turning off lights to save money and conserve energy, I’ve developed a firm habit of turning off lights – call it a compulsion, a good habit. I have other good habits, too: exercising, saving money, living in moderation, preparing for the future, maintaining our home and cars, going to bed at a decent time, and so forth. I’m grateful to have these good habits ingrained in me.

I also have a few bad habits, too, but I’m not so aware of them. When I do uncover one, I try to retrain myself. One such area is my tendency to turn on the TV, not to watch a specific show, but to fill time. Sometimes I do well avoiding this habit and other times, not so much. Another is eating because there’s food in front of me, not because I’m hungry. I’m sure there are more.

We all have habits, some good and some not so good. Let us celebrate and preserve our good habits, just as we seek to discover and correct our bad ones.

[This is from the June 2014 issue of Peter DeHaan’s newsletter. Sign up to receive the complete newsletter each month via email.]

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