I have a long history of bad habits, as I think most of us do to one degree or another.

When I was a kid, I used to crack my knuckles all the time. My mother used to tell me that if I didn’t stop it, some day my knuckles would become all deformed and gnarly.

My knuckles are not deformed or gnarly but my mother was correct in her belief that knuckle cracking couldn’t be good because I now have a touch of arthritis in my hands. I have no doubt that my bad cracking habit has a lot to do with it.

 My mother also told me that if I didn’t stop making faces at my brothers one of them could freeze in a ghastly contortion. The great freeze never happened, but I do wonder if the face making, which I didn’t limit to just my brothers, has been a contributing factor to the wrinkles now appearing around my eyes and forehead.

 One bad habit that fortunately I broke in my teenage years was picking the scab of any sore I had. I have no idea what compelled me to do such a thing. For one thing, scab picking hurt and I was never a fan of pain and did it anyway. And for another thing, my mother told me it could lead to infection and scars.

 Mother was right, I had my share of infections because of the picking and I still have some scars to prove it. Fortunately, the vanity of a teenage girl was enough to cause me to break that bad habit. I discovered that boys were not drawn to girls with oozing sores.

 In adulthood I picked up my fair share of other bad habits such as smoking and eating all foods that not good for me. I have been able to break some of my bad habits and some are a constant struggle.

 One of my bad habits that I have tried to overcome or at least reduce turns out to actually be a good habit and that’s drinking coffee. When I jump-start my morning with a couple of cups of my favorite beverage and drug of choice, it turns out that I am really doing myself some good above and beyond getting myself to function, which I don’t do well until the caffeine boost kicks in.

 I heard something on the news about the benefits of drinking coffee, but I didn’t catch the whole story and I figured there had to be a catch to it. So I turned to WebMD online and was drawn to the headline “Coffee: The New Health Food?”

 Some very serious studies have been done by some very serious entities such as Harvard University and the results are good news for coffee junkies like me.

 The studies have shown that drinking coffee can lower the risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and colon cancer. As well as lifting one’s mood, which I can attest to, it also eases headaches. And here’s a tidbit that will amaze you; drinking coffee can lower the risk of cavities.

 According to the WebMD article caffeine, of which coffee has a high content, is partly responsible for the good benefits, but also the antioxidants in coffee beans play a large part.

 As I expected however, there is a small catch. Some people simply cannot tolerate too much coffee. In these people coffee can raise cholesterol levels, contribute to artery clogging and cause rapid heartbeats.

 I do not believe that I’m one of those people. At least I hope not, because now that one of my bad habits has become a good habit I’d hate to have it become a bad habit again.

 Now, if only a study would show that a honey dipped donut chased down with a cup of joe would cure what ails me. The way I see it that would be a bad habit turned good that I could get used to. Until that study comes about I’ll just stick to coffee and do a happy dance that I have at least one good habit that even my mother would approve of.

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