The glossy stack of magazines beckoned. I was in the reception area of a nutritional clinic waiting for my husband to finish his appointment, and time was dragging. My hands held a thick collection of required reading for one of my college classes. The content was littered with academic speak so dry and creatively parched that I had to wet my lips to mentally digest even the simplest of concepts. Blah. My eyes left the research paper and rested once again on the stack of magazines. Fast food for the brain. Yummy. I resisted, I really did, but eventually felt my body bending over and reaching, reaching, reaching for a magazine. A jolt of quilt and pleasure hit at the same time. Ahhh.
Lingering over an article written by a life coach, I was reminded of a number of handy tools useful for goal setting and reality checks. (I wish I could give credit to the writer, but such was my reading frenzy that I failed to make a note of the author, or even the magazine. Sorry!) One of the questions posed by the author was, “How well do your daily choices serve you?” My quick answer–“It depends.”
When I was a dental assistant I used to get about four to five hours of sleep a night. Part of my problem was the tenseness that would invade my mind and body on Sunday nights. The switch from weekend options to weekday responsibility was a tough one for me. When I left dental assisting and started back to college, my days –and nights—took on a completely different time schedule. Now I tend to sleep until 8:30 a.m. and go to bed at midnight or later. Getting eight hours of sleep is mandatory for my wellbeing at this stage of my life, and yet I oddly continue to hear my mom’s voice in my head. “Shame on you. Get up! There is work to do!” So, is my choice of sleeping the hours I do serving me? Yes, I think so. If I could just let go of the guilt.
Another choice is to refrain from opening my email accounts until I get necessary work done. I know that once I start reading my emails, I’ll start responding. And if I start responding, well, suddenly a couple of hours are gone and I feel way behind and pressured to catch up. Not good. Maybe that falls under the discipline category of life choices and that can be slippery with my temperame… Squirrel!…as anything provides distraction.
Diet choices are another area I face with a daily demon or two. Eating healthy food is important to me and I think I do pretty darn well. My Achilles heel, or liver in this instance, is my love of Diet Coke. I know it is doing nothing nutritionally for me, and probably upsets my insulin production, but I crave it. It quenches me in odd psychological ways. I remember when I first received my driver’s license. I was sixteen and felt like the world had opened up. I no longer had to ask my parents or brothers for a ride. I could go where I wanted whenever I wanted.
Part of my newly documented maturity—nipping on the cusp of adulthood in my view—was to stop and fill the tank with gas. Weird, but true. I believe gas prices were around fifty cents a gallon back then, and well within my weekly allowance since I only filled up about once a month. After I topped off the tank of my 1972 Ford Maverick, I would walk over to the vending machine and buy a can of icy-cold pop (soda to non-Minnesotans). Sometimes there would be little ice slivers in the mix, it was that cold and refreshing. Driving home, singing with the radio, and feeling the wind through the open car window left me feeling incredibly good and worldly. That’s what I still feel when a sip of Diet Coke hits my tongue…my past glory and unstop-ability. I told you it was weird!
So, is my choice a good one? Past memories, good feelings, but bad for me nutritionally? Hmmmm….What do you think? Do you make daily choices that serve your greater good? I’d love to know!