Food and time

I wrote on Wednesday:

I've thrown so much time away simply because I thought it wasn't mine — time when I was "supposed" to be doing other things. Why is it a rule that when you're procrastinating, you have to be numbing your brain, bouncing around from website to website or similar? It's not. It's stupid. It results in nothing worth remembering, and it's not even enjoyable.
and I wanted to elaborate on that and connect it with eating as Sui did in her comment.

In Intuitive Eating the authors mention several adolescent clients who had gotten into the habit of overeating after school because as long as they were eating, their parents didn't make them do homework. In other words, their right to nourishment was acknowledged, but not their right to leisure time, and the result was that they tried to suppress one need by oversatisfying another.

I've realized that I can fall into a similar trap. When I'm willing to acknowledge my need for, say, an internet break "just to check my email" (ahem) but not my need to do something ACTUALLY enjoyable, like have tea with a friend, or ride my bike, or do some pleasure reading — then I overdo the internet surfing in an attempt to satisfy my chocolate craving with rice cakes. Falling into the black hole that is the internet can take longer than a real break would have, and it's way less satisfying.

I think this also has to do with the fact that I can avoid some of the responsibility for "procrastinating" by blaming the internet's addictive and time-warping qualities. (One earth hour = sixteen internet minutes, to quote my high school government teacher.)

And yet all that's needed to make taking that responsibility less dreadnacious is to accept that taking breaks is allowed — yes, even long unscheduled ones — and that I don't have to guilt-trip myself by labeling them "procrastination." That it really is okay to set aside a paper in order to go for a bike ride. (Appeal to pragmatic side: After all, if that's what I'm craving, then that's probably what will best refresh me and and re-energize me for more paper-writing later.)

Back to the food. I'd like to propose an analogy:

Unrealistic dedication to productivity is to wasting time as dieting is to overeating.

And what is the way out? Intuitive living, something like intuitive eating but bigger? Are there thoughts as trustworthy as the body's hungers?

I think so. I'm experimenting.

5 comments:

Heidi 12/10/2011 9:51 AM  

I really love this. It's so full of truth. And today, when I need a break from homework, I'll curl up with a book and a cup of tea instead of the internet. :)

Jenica 12/10/2011 12:15 PM  

I like this. I like it a lot. (Says I as I internet-hop. But you're one of the worthwhile stops.)

Holly 12/10/2011 5:46 PM  

Heidi - Good! Good. I'm glad.

Jenica - And that makes me glad too. (And thank you!)

I pretty much can only write from personal experience, so I dig that that can be relevant to others.

lena 12/27/2011 3:33 AM  

This is so true!

Holly 1/10/2012 3:12 AM  

Lena - I'm glad it resonates!

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