I’m not going to eat between meals and I’m not going to take seconds. Just Today.. And I’m going to try this for a year to see what happens.
Yesterday I walked down to a diner a few blocks from our building to buy a fruit salad. And I decided to buy a treat at the bakery next door.g Because we’re moving our offices from the library building to an annex across the street and I felt like I needed just a little more lunch than I’d brought. And it’s a nice bakery.
And it wouldn’t hurt just this once, would it? Of course not.
I went in and the woman behind the counter didn’t notice me at all.> She was vacuuming. So I looked at the cookies and thought, “That one.” And the woman behind the counter kept vacuuming.g I wasn’t in a hurry, so I kept looking and I thought, no — I’ll have that cinnamon thing instead. And I really wanted it, but she kept her head down and the vacuum on.g Well, I was having fun looking at all the snacks and kept looking. And thought about getting these tiny little pies or an apple strudel.
And it was starting to get weird that she wasn’t looking up at all.t Because I knew what I wanted (about 6 things by then.) Then my friend came in and the woman looked up right away and took her money for a bread item — never looking at me at all., And I didn’t get frustrated or mad. I just changed my mind.
Because I remembered that the first step is always the hardest. Sure, it wouldn’t hurt just once to buy a treat at this bakery, but it would be easier to do it again the next time.t And that wasn’t really a step I wanted to take without more planning.
Regular readers know that I believe in planned treats. That I know I’m not going to go forever without having ice cream or chocolate or cake or sweet bread again.i And that attempting to cut those things out of my life forever would doom this effort to failure — I couldn’t do it. I also believe that a planned treat, making it part of a meal as dessert keeps to the spirit of The Commitment.e And it can give me a lot of pleasure, from the anticipation through eating it and then the memory.
But that treat yesterday wouldn’t have been planned, not really. There wasn’t much difference in buying something from that bakery and getting something from the snack machine in the staff room.t I can’t even count the walk as an advantage since it was right next door to the diner.
I don’t know why the little voice didn’t speak up yesterday — maybe I was still a little sick. But I was lucky and bad service came to my rescue.t Because really, both platitudes are right: Just once won’t hurt and that first step is always the hardest.p If I had gotten that bakery treat yesterday, it would be all to easy to get one today or tomorrow. And all too soon it would be a habit — a part of my routine.
And that would be wrong.
Some of you have mentioned habits that you’re trying to break.n Do you remember how they started?