Habits are actions we take after we've trained ourselves (or others have trained us). Many of us remember as kids when mom would insist that we 'cover your mouth when you cough' or those around us might say 'God Bless' when we sneezed. Perhaps we still do one or both of those actions to this day because what we are now is what we were when.
I was thinking of this yesterday morning as I went to leave the house to go to work. My wife has mounted the monitor portion of our very-super weather station in the hallway from the living room to the kitchen in a very logical spot, beside the closet where we keep all of our outer clothes, coats, jackets, scarves and mittens. Her theory, proven repeatedly in the course of the nineteen plus years we have lived where we do, is you can check the outside temperature as you're readying to depart and keep the 'whoa!' sharp intake of sudden surprise to a minimum when you step out the back door from the kitchen to the landing to the stairs.
I am so gentrified. We called the back landing a stoop when I was a kid in Jersey, which is what it still is. It's not like I live in the part of Connecticut where me and my stockbroker neighbors wash our cars with domestic light beer or are building a twin-hulled catamaran with an eye on challenging for the America's Cup. Yes, we do have a big back yard, but not big enough for a polo pony, so pardon me while I remember to NOT dye my roots but do call things by their real names. I'm thinking Royce would have been a good name for the horse.
Anyway. I can tell the difference between two dollars and two hundred dollars. As well as between two dollars and twenty dollars. Maybe that's habit, too. Worlds collide for me when I look at the outside thermometer yesterday morning around five and it says 16.7 degrees Fahrenheit and I pause, trying to remember what it was on Wednesday morning (18.7) because in and of itself that's somehow important and/or will dissuade me from going outside and going to work.
In terms of Galvanic Skin Response, GSR (not Gun Shot Residue), the skin on my face could better and more easily tell a difference of percentage of moisture in the mid double digits easier than a difference of two degrees (maybe at Kelvin, but only maybe). Do I risk some form of a cerebral surprise if I don't check the gauge before stepping out into the dark and minimizing the possibility of atmospheric ambush? No clue and truth to tell, I don't know why I look, except out of habit.
In the summer, if the display were to be a triple digit reading at the same hour, I don't think I'd remove my trousers and leave them in the kitchen heading to work in socks, sakko and a smile (so ein schmarrn). I can, however, think of one long-suffering spouse who's probably not willing to place money on that turn of events NEVER happening. One of these days letters are gonna fall from the sky, telling us all to go free.
Of course, by then to save money, the Postal Service will have ceased home delivery entirely and to save even more, our schools will have eliminated literacy requirements. Will be curious to see if anyone left can tell the difference or to whom they would.