Thursday, January 17, 2013

Old Habits are Hard to Break

Good habits are worth
being fanatical about.

John Irving 

You will have to forgive me if I seem to be having trouble finding things to write about.  Actually, that is not quite true.  I've plenty of thoughts of things I would like to write about, but I am still trying to get my bearings after dealing with the flu.  Been a long time since something drained me so, physically and mentally, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. 
I did return to work and, just as I said I was going to do, immediately downloaded educational materials and began working with my groups to make the program a safer place for everyone.  On Tuesday, it was my woman's group, and I do have to share the following story with you.  In group, we explored the educational materials that I provided them with, and I felt really good when they all asked if they could keep them. There was one issue that I really stressed to them, and that is that doorknobs are a huge source of germs.

In our office, up until recently we only had one of those wall gadget air hand driers.  I've always felt it made no sense to wash one's hands, scrub them clean, then give a quick swipe of air, and then touching a germ-filled doorknob to exit the bathroom, so, from day one, I was a strong advocate for paper towels in the bathrooms. Finally, about a month ago they put a paper towel holder up.  Until that time, I was using toilet paper or bringing my own paper towel.  That's how strongly I feel about it.

And so, when I went to the ladies' room after group, one of the clients from my group was in there washing her hands.  After shaking the excess water from them, she walked over to the air drier, hesitated, then reached for  a paper towel instead. Then, paper towel in hand, she headed for the door. That made me smile because it showed that someone had listened, but what did she do?  She opened the door with her right hand and held the paper towel in her left.   All I could do was stand there, totally speechless.  I guess it is true what they say, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink it."

By the way, before I forget, the hand sanitizer was replaced yesterday.  It pays to open your mouth.

Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time. 

Mark Twain


  1. Ooooh! Fantastic! Good for you! (and everyone!) I taught my kids from the time they could use the potty how to use a public restroom without risking unnecessary exposure to germs. One of my kids thinks I made her a germophobe. :) If there are no towels I will use toilet paper, the bottom of my shirt - anything rather than touch the door handle in a restroom. I like that they now often put the waste basket near the door so you can open the door and then easily throw the paper towel out.

  2. It all begins with small steps Sister...
    perhaps you could have said, "Excuse me Dear Heart! This is what I meant by using paper towels, and then physically showed her?" Just thinking out loud here...sometimes people are hands on learners, you know? Well, anywho, it's just a thought. :)
    It's great they replaced the hand sanitizer!
    Have an outstanding day Mary and I hope you get back to optimal health soon.
    I love ya Lady!

  3. The squeaky wheel gets the grease... :-)

    But where do you discard the paper towel, after opening the door?

  4. Mary, at least it gets people thinking about how germs are everywhere; it is amazing how ignorant people are about this. Good job making a start with your group. I hope they take your words to heart. One small step.....

  5. Very true about old habits. I've spent years developing some of mine. It's hard to make a change immediatly. Usually takes me a little while.
    Glad your feeling better :) X.

  6. I am very germ conscious and use paper towels to leave a public restroom, as long as there are some available, that is.

    I wish more people thought like you, for I believe people wouldn't be getting as sick, if they did.