Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Plate Runneth Over.

When I was a kid, I had to finish everything on my plate. Many nights I was left alone at the table after everyone else had finished their meal and left. It was not unusual for me to sit there for an hour at least, picking at my plate still loaded with food. It wasn't that I didn't like the meal, it was just that it was too much for me. I simply could not handle it all. There was one dinner-time rule, however, that often saved me: If either one of my parents had loaded my plate, then I didn't have to eat it all. They'd simply concede that their eyes were bigger than my stomach. But if I had served myself, well then, too bad. I should've paid more attention to what I could handle and not have given myself so much.

Oh, how this rings true even today! Except, it's not food I have a hard time managing - it's my time. I have a tendency to "fill up" my plate, or rather my calendar, with a bit too much. It all looks yummy when I'm first piling it on but when the time comes and it's set before me, I find that often I have a hard time swallowing what's there. And even though it's not really food, I find that the physical results are quite similar: upset stomach, lethargy and that overall feeling of being "stuffed". What's worse, is there isn't a sweet dessert to look forward to at the end.

This month and next, I'm making it a priority to dish up a little less. A low-cal (as in calendar) diet of sorts. London's soccer is over and I won't be signing her up for anything else until after the first of the year. And even though this is the time of the year when I usually start to pile things onto my plate, I'll be resisting the urge to even "just have a bite". Nothing will be added that isn't pure all-out fun and, other than date night with my hubby, nothing that will require a babysitter.

They say a trick to weight loss is to use 9 inch plates instead of the standard 13 inch. On a 9 inch plate, it appears you have more food and so "visually" you believe you've eaten plenty. I'm thinking I will do the same with my 2008 calender. Maybe if I get one with teeny-tiny boxes I will only commit to what I can write in the box. Perhaps, the days of "my eyes are bigger than my schedule" will come to a halt. Well, who am I kidding? They won't come to a halt but I have faith that I can get them down to bite-size pieces.

I refuse to stuff myself any longer, I want to enjoy my days like the French enjoy a meal. They are not something to be rushed, half-chewed and barely tasted. Instead, I want to sit back, enjoy what has been set before me and linger in the moment surrounded by family and friends.

Yes, that is what I want: Not to fill up my plate, but for what's on my plate to fulfill me.

1 comment:

Laurel said...

There is much in this post that I should adopt. Luckily, I like to run busy, but there are times when I just need to stop. This Christmas I'm hoping to be a bit more still so I can have the time to reflect and simply enjoy the miracle of the season. Thanks for a thoughtful and well-written post that will serve as a reminder.