Obsession, Overindulgence, & Bad Habits

When I started thinking about my bad habits, my brain took a different direction and began instead to consider obsession and the overindulgence that stems from obsession as my one bad habit. Then I started wondering if overindulgence and obsession were actually bad habits at all or just the way in which we process information and learn.

I'm not sure about other people, but I am someone who does the same things over and over again until I am absolutely sick of them. It's almost like my body is on a mini-cycle, like how we experience the seasons every year or the days in the week. When I find something I like, whether it is eating a food, listening to a piece of music, watching a good movie, or…whatever it is, I tend to do it over and over again until I eventually try something new that I prefer.

As I continued to think about overindulgence and obsession, I remembered an NPR Radiolab episode Justin played a year or so ago about this artist that became obsessed with the song Bolero. She listened to the song obsessing over it and even assigning colors to the notes being played. She was working as an artist at that point in her life, so the obsession turned into a painting, followed by more and more painting. As the years passed her painting style turned more realistic with her ability to communicate slowly diminishing due to a disease taking over her brain. Her husband stated that towards the end of her life, she would sit in front of a blank canvas for hours wanting to paint but being unable to.

While I imagine that my obsession is not at all related to that particular disease, it did make me take a minute to think about artists in general and how obsessive they can become. Often, when reading about how to become better at anything (especially art), it is recommended that you stick with what you are learning and build on it. That is exactly how we learn to read a book, studying it over and over again as a child, ingraining the words into our memory until eventually we can put words together with the symbols associated with them. Dance, learning a new language, painting, algebra, science experiments, blogging daily… If we didn't constantly practice skills while adding onto them, where would we be?

So in the end, I have to wonder if my obsession and overindulgence is really a bad thing. It may not be smart to overindulge on chocolate, but what about music, art, or books? Is it even possible to read too much? What do you think?

** This post is thanks to NaBloPoMo, offering bloggers tips on blogging, monthly blogging prompts, and chances to win prizes! :)

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