When starting a new habit or making a life change, one must really keep up the consistent momentum for a period of time (I’ve heard 21 days and 40 days to develop a habit). But, as we all know, life gets in the way of our plans. The plans we make with the most sincere and best of intentions in a moment frustration, despair, passion, jubilation (or just standing in front of the mirror) are quickly pushed to the side when the reality of exhaustion and our daily schedules set in, when the demands of our families, friends and colleagues supersede our personal goals. It takes perseverance, a bit of selfishness, and real grit to ensure that you and your desired habit don’t end up at the bottom of the heap.
At some point, I always end up at the bottom of the heap. At some point, I say yes in stead of no. At some point, I put someone or something ahead of what I need. At some point, it’s just easier to give in.
And so Friday morning I was standing in my kitchen after yoga, quietly eating a bowl of Kashi Autumn Wheat cereal and a banana when I suddenly realized that five of my last seven meals were exactly what I was eating now: cereal. Instead of heating up soup or preparing a dinner from scratch, I came home two nights in a row to a cold bowl of cereal. Never before in my life have I done this exact thing. I’ve never been a cereal junky (except for a regrettable Fruity Pebbles binge my freshman year of college when I realized my parents no longer dictated what kind of cereal I could eat). In fact, I just started eating cereal again after not touching it for a solid three years. Is this what single girls do when there’s no one to come home to, to cook and share a meal with? I needed sustenance, and in my silent house, I succumbed to the path of least resistance. And it tasted SO good.
Some people say that cravings are your body’s way of telling you what you need, which makes sense if you go bonkers on raspberries, spinach, or some other nutrient-rich dish. But what if cereal is incredibly, deeply satisfying? What the heck does that mean? Am I feeding my soul, or am I just tired? Tired of cooking and cleaning up a monstrous mess? Tired from working too much and sleeping too little? Tired of eating alone? Probably all of the above. What I do know is that had I not used up all the milk yesterday morning, this bachelorette would have dined on cereal a few more times.
But I don’t want to give up on being a budding cook. Very soon, I will crawl back to the top of the heap; I will say no instead of yes. I will put myself first again.
In the meantime, I’m hoping that once in a blue moon, my girls Ina, Giada and Ellie will come home bone-tired to a dark and empty house. They’ll stand in front of their respective high-end refrigerators, door ajar, their bodies illuminated solely by its light, and feed their aching hearts with cold pizza.