Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Saving The Best For Last

I've always been a saver. Not money, heavens no. That I spend like I can freely print more in my basement. No, what I've always saved is "The Best". I eat sandwiches systematically so that the center is left for last. That's the best part, you see. A wonderful synthesis of everything that's on that sandwich all at once, in one bite. I do this with a lot of food, actually. I'll save that little bit of steak that's always more tender than the rest, or the center of just about anything because it's the best. I've also always saved "one for later". As a child this resulted in a lot of single pieces of Halloween candy floating around in a bag in my room for Mama to find.

The main problem with saving the best bite for last is that usually you're terribly full by that time, and forcing yourself to get through all of whatever you're eating in order to get to that special last bite never makes you feel better. It makes you feel stuffed, bloated, and uncomfortable. Who can enjoy The Best when you really wish you'd stopped 10 bites ago? Likewise with saving one for later. Too often later never comes, or you misplace that particular thing you're saving. What good did that serve?

As we've been trying to eat healthier, and as I've been trying (trying, trying, trying) to rid myself of about 292,083 pounds of excess me, one of the things we're doing is not cleaning our plates. When you get full, stop. Simple, right? Not when you've constantly felt like you're supposed to clean your plate, or when you have The Best waiting for last. It's a huge mind-set change for both of us, so I get pretty excited when I am able to say "nope, I'm full, and I don't need the other half of that piece of whatever it is." Empowering.

However, as someone who has long perfected this saving habit, that means that more often than not that bit that's left for the garbage disposal is The Best. That's just not right! I need to learn to just eat straight through something until I'm full, and take that middle bit in the order in which I receive it. Have The Best right smack in the middle of all the Pretty Decent, I guess.

This never fails to make me think about life. How often do we wait for a better time, save The Best for last, or leave something important for a later that never happens? If we're constantly dancing around the middle, taking care of the edges first, what are we leaving behind when we run out of time? I say eat the middle of that sandwich, put the good sheets on the bed instead of waiting for special occasions, and use those linen napkins. Wear your favorite top to the grocery store just because you can, and eat that last piece of chocolate right now. Sure, leave whatever you don't need on your plate, but don't miss out on The Best just because you never got there.

I'm hoping I'll rearrange my life to enjoy The Best whenever it happens. Hold me to it.

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