I had Frosted Mini Wheats with a sprinkle of brown sugar and a dusting of garlic salt today which I initially decided was fine.
It was the usual situation. Four hours after waking up, I decided I ought to feed myself. Some people make themselves and their physical needs a priority, understanding that providing their own bodies with nourishment upon waking allows them to better care for others. I imagine they set their alarms for early in the morning, rise cheerfully before their children, make themselves multi-grain avocado toast or a two-egg omelette, and eat it from an actual plate while sitting at the kitchen table with a dare-I-say hot cup of coffee or bright lemon tea. I can only assume people like that are generally rational and well-adjusted with an appropriate balance of self-care… and that they don’t wake up in a high-strung panic after hitting snooze thirteen times, thinking of all the tasks they must accomplish immediately, or yesterday, or last year, and itemizing the ever-expanding list of people they’ve let down with their lack of follow-through on their Very Good Intentions.
So. The usual situation. For four hours, I’d been doing Just One More Thing before allowing myself to eat which shockingly led to crabbiness and the shakes, and so, defeated once again by Being Human and Requiring Sustenance, I grabbed the fastest food I could find. Bowl. Spoon. Box of cereal (with sugar but also WHOLE WHEAT, therefore health food.) Milk. And brown sugar to sprinkle on top because sometimes the sugar crust on the blocks of wheat shards is spotty and sparse. I spilled a little sugar on the table (see also: shakes from not eating), but fear not; I have low standards, so I just brushed that spill straight into my bowl. Sugar saved. Nothing wasted. Problem solved.
Unbeknownst to me — although it should have been knownst since I know the infrequency with which my kitchen table is cleaned — the location of the brown sugar spill was the same location as a previous garlic salt spill, and so I sprinkled both on my cereal.
Mini Wheats with brown sugar and garlic salt are less than delicious, FYI. I know this is true because I ate 3/4 of the bowl just to be sure. And because I didn’t want to waste food. And because I need to do some work on treating myself like I deserve better than Garlic Frosted Mini Wheats.
But I will tell you what: I did NOT eat the whole bowl which is PROGRESS, and progress is VICTORY dressed in yoga pants and slippers. Victory on the down-low, if you will. Casual Victory. Victory with her hair in a messy bun and no bra.
I made it 75% of the way in, and I thought to myself, “Self? This is not pleasurable. This is not yummy. This is GROSS. This is not something you’d feed to any other human on Earth. This is something that’s OK to wash down the disposal. You, friend, can have a FRESH bowl of garlic-free cereal. You, sweet thing, are ALLOWED. You, darling, are WORTH a garlic-free bowl of cereal.”
In conclusion, quick life tip: you don’t need to actually eat the bowl of garlic-infused cereal. And, I suspect, you don’t always have to play the hand you’re dealt or lie in the bed just because you made it. I think we have more options than we let ourselves realize. You’re allowed to get a new bowl of cereal. You’re allowed to quit the card game and reshuffle the deck or swap out for another game entirely. You can strip the bed and remake it or leave it unmade, and you STILL deserve rest and respite and time to close your eyes where you’re safe and comfortable. I mean, right? We so often subject ourselves to situations we’d never dream of inflicting on anyone else. We so often leave ourselves trapped there. What if we don’t do that anymore? What if, even if we’re 75% of the way through, we say enough is enough? What if we treat ourselves like we’re worthy of more?
I don’t have any answers. But what if?
With love and waving,
P.S. Related: I haven’t pooped today. Not because I don’t need to go. I’m working on it, OK? Baby steps.