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Breaking The Cycle And Getting Real
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Addiction is a funny thing.

As we face a new year, I can’t help but feel I’ve shared those words before. I know for sure, I’ve shared my thoughts on goals versus resolutions. In the end I think we should do what works best for each of us. For some, that’s nothing at all … and that’s okay too.

I love starting a year, a day or a month with a list of goals. It’s always fun to look back and see how far I’ve come or yes, even where I fall short.

Several years ago, I wrapped my mind around the notion that I was ‘perfectly imperfect.’ Recognizing that may seem odd to others, I came to grips with the fact that I was not a crafty mom, Pinterest person or even an elaborate cook and that’s okay. I make mistakes, I’m wrong at times and I don’t achieve all my goals.

I thought of this early this week as I traveled to a local coffee shop to order my daily favorite. This would be right about when that lead sentence hit me hard.

As I waited to order my coffee, I thought of my attempted break-ups with this local business in past years. One year I actually did the math and realized how much I was spending monthly/yearly on this daily visit to see my ‘favorite people.’

That’s the funny thing about the addiction. It’s not restricted to a drug, alcohol, cigarettes. Addiction can also stem from habits which are so hard to break they become addicting. In other words, we can just as easily become addicted to love, food, social media and varying other outlets.

Visiting that coffee shop and being greeted by that staff, was just as valuable to me as the product. Simply put, their demeanor and cheeriness helped start my day. It was indeed one of my many ‘happy’ places. At two to five dollars a cup, it’s time to find a new ‘happy’ place … again.

Again, I’m not perfect and this has not been a goal I have been able to achieve. A treat on occasion - fine. A daily visit - no, that’s not good or wise.

So as I placed that order, I thought of the money (and the time) I would save. I thought of others just like me, facing the new year with new goals and recalling past victories and shortcomings. Then, oddly, I thought of honesty.

If we can’t be honest with ourselves, we’re already losing the battle. Goal achievement comes through honesty, acceptance and perseverance.

So here we go, ironically, my third attempt at what might seem to be a simple task. For others perhaps, for me - not so much. Loosely speaking it is an addiction that costs me one thousand dollars a year and that’s a lowball estimate. That’s a lot of money.

Here’s to my coffee fund and being real with myself and our readers. Let’s see if indeed the third time can be the charm. I’ve got my plan in place and this I believe will be my year to break the cycle.

In the meantime, feel free to partner with me. Whatever your goal or addiction might be. If it keeps nagging at you, it’s time to try again. After all, what’s to lose? 2017 just may be the year you surprise yourself, so go for it. Happy New Year!


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021