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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Don't Let Guilt Eat Those Cookies .....

Eat them yourself!

At least, if you ARE going to eat them, tell guilt to beat it, sit down, look at the beautiful cookie, cake, bowl of ice cream, piece of candy - sniff it, admire it, take a little nibble and let it tickle your tongue, let its flavor fill your mouth. Take a real bite. Chew it slowly. Notice the first flavor, the main flavor and the aftertaste. Swallow the whole bite. Think about how good it is. Think about how lucky you are to be rich enough to have this treat. Imagine a time before there even was sugar. Imagine a time when salt was so expensive that a whole bevy of folk lore grew up around it. Say thanks for the treat. Say thanks for your personal wealth. Say thanks for the wealth of our society. And then ... take your second bite.

Because if you can't do that with your treat - is it even a treat?

I'm thinking of all the treats and goodies and sweets and cheeses that I consumed over Christmas - the ones that added 4 extra pounds to my not-too-delicate frame. And I can't remember the pleasure of any of them except Christmas Dinner - when I really DID eat like that.  And Christmas Dinner was a real treat!

ALL the other treats were consumed rapidly, with Guilt at my side, whispering the lie that "If you eat it fast enough the calories wouldn't have time to linger on your belly." or "Hurry, hurry. If nobody sees you eat this, did you really eat it?"  So instead of admitting that that Ferrero Rocher was the chocolaty delight it was and honoring it with true eating respect, I popped it into my mouth, bit down once, chewed rapidly and poof! It was gone. All the pleasure was gone but Guilt hung around like a school bully, smirking at me, double dog daring me, TRIPPLE dog daring me to do it again. And I did.

And you know ... that sucks. And now that it's January and I'm trying to resist all kinds of Other Treats because - hey. I'm rich. (and you don't have to be much richer than to have $1.98 in your pocket) The stores are full. (and the Valentine's Day candy is already out on the shelves)  - I keep trying to remember any of those bites, licks and tastes and I am so mad that I can't. Except the Roast Beef Dinner - which I can remember with that slightly swoony feeling. I don't need another Roast Beef Dinner - with Yorkshire Pudding - any time soon, because I can still go back and remember how good the one I had 2 weeks ago was.  

Huh. Well. That does it. I vow - as one of my 2016 New Year's Resolutions – From now on I will eat all the  treats I want just so long as I'm willing to give them the attention they deserve. From this day forward, I intend to get 100% of the pleasure out of any treat I eat and Guilt will get none. I will never again let Guilt get all the pleasure while I have all the shame. By golly, if I'm going to pack on 4 pounds it's going to have been so worth it.

Friday, January 1, 2016

For The First Time (on a First Day)

Anyone who knows TheQueen knows that she Loves Her A New Year. I've been loving the New Year ever since, in that long ago day when we still lived in Chesterfield, back when it was still Chesterfield and still rural, my dad told me that on N.Y. Day you wrote down your new year's resolutions - things you wanted to do or accomplish in the coming year. The idea of a whole year to spend doing things you wanted to do just thrilled my little 9 year old natural mathematician's heart. I suspect it thrilled his little heart too. He was the king of natural mathematicians (IRS tax man) and used his skills to earn a good living. I, otoh, channel my love of math into Knitting Math and Cooking Math and Sewing Geometry and Strategic Planning Math.  Thank you Daddy, for sharing that love of playing with numbers. 

I have a beloved ritual for New Year's Day and I'll follow it today. It includes looking back at last year and then looking forward at the coming one. I may even light a candle this time (Thank you Michael Rawlings - you darling, you - for that idea. I knew we were soul mates.). I have a long list of ThingsToDo I want to write down. The ideas for that list have been nudging me for about 10 days now, whispering pleas to not be forgotten.  And there are one or two Big Deals that I already knew were on the calendar for 2016.  Good things. Good Big Deals. But already in the works. 

There are also a few ubiquitous things that will gain their reserved seats on my TTD list. Declutter the house, get back to my weight goal, drink more water ... but there's no sense of urgency about them. I think, for the first time ever, I'm not dissatisfied with myself. Whatever tweaking that needs to be done I feel confident I can do it. What dreams I may have already look fulfilled. I am moving into 2016 with the most delightful sense of calm, peace, and bliss. (Even though I suspect there is a horrific letter coming from one of the many irritating health insurance companies we pay $$$ to ... just something I forgot to do, ya know.) Even with that cropping up in January - well - I just think I'm gonna handle that too. It's all going to be alright.  

And that is a first. To step into tomorrow as if it were already here. And I want to tell you - that is one great feeling!  It came as no surprise when I got this little pep talk from my favorite guru, Martha Beck:

Who would you be if you were simply present, like a wild animal, without past or future? What would you do if you didn’t know it was impossible? What would you believe if you trusted that all your longing will be fulfilled? Every time you contemplate a question like these, you become a little bit more bewildered—by which I mean you’re learning to be wilder, to let go of your mind’s judgments and fears and live from your core.

Martha Beck, Quarterly Coaches' Newsletter, December 2015

So here's to a blissful 2016.