Chocolate has always been my comfort food of choice. Back when Hershey’s candy bars came in five rows of double squares, I’d buy a bar and eat it at my desk. The very act of sliding off the brown wrapper and opening the foil packet became a soothing ritual. (Must have been all that serotonin.) Anyway, I’d eat it—one square at a time, while I worked.
The problem was that sometimes because I was preoccupied with a project, I’d reach for another bite of candy only to find an empty wrapper. I’d think, “Where’d it go. I couldn’t have eaten all that.” But I had. It was gone, which meant I’d munched my way through the entire 200+ calories without truly enjoying every bite. That’s a real bummer when you need to count calories.
I get a similar feeling when I look back on this year. In January, I unwrapped 2013 with great expectations. While I’ve enjoyed much of it, I feel like I’m down to the last two squares, and asking myself what happened to the rest. How can it already be November? I know where September went and the first part of October—I traveled a lot. But I was home a couple of weeks before Halloween, and it still sneaked up on me. Now we’re burning weeks in November with Thanksgiving fast approaching.
I’ve become aware of my advancing years, so I’m more conscious of the need to make the most of my time. That’s complicated because I want to cram too much into each day, each week, each month. But when I’m too busy, I get distracted, rushed, stressed and sometimes find myself just going through the motions in much the same way I mindlessly gobbled up that chocolate.
So I’m changing my ways. Even though there are many good things, I’m trying to choose what’s best for me for this time. When my calendar starts filling up, I’m beginning to say, “Thank you, but I can’t do that.” It’s difficult because I like people and saying yes too often is a weakness of mine.
But I’ve been practicing. Instead of going away for two weeks to write as planned, I’m enjoying three days away and seeing friends I love in the process. Most of our time is devoted to writing; however, we’re not slaves to a schedule either. Today, I’ve taken a couple of walks to enjoy the glorious fall foliage, dined with friends and still had time to work on several writing projects. I can honestly say I did exactly what I wanted to do.
If you were here, I’d give you one, too. I brought a whole bag.