Comfort Food for Thought

1. My diet will be perfect if I trust myself to eat whatever I want most. This means eating exactly what I want, whenever I want, without any other "do's" and "don'ts" than that what I eat should make me feel good. This means eating meat, if that is what I want. This means eating cake, if that is what I want. This means not spending my life denying myself what I want because I have read somewhere that this or that food is or is not good for me. Most amazing effect of this diet since Sunday: oddly, all those pastries in the coffee shops downstairs don't look so tempting any more, I'd rather have a tuna salad with boiled egg.

2. Sometimes it is a good thing that things break or wear out or get eaten by the dog because it is only in throwing away the old that we make space for the new. Like throwing away the desk and the futon so as to make way for the new chairs in our back room. Or giving up old exercise routines in order to have time for new ones, like walking the dog. Case in point: Fencing Bear had a bit of a run-in with the Dragon Baby this past weekend after the D.B. finished with my shoes. F.B. survived (thank goodness!), but her old foil is in splinters. Which means we now have the opportunity to design her a new, maybe even better one.

3. Hat tip to millinerd for pointing us to this lesson this past weekend: sometimes the Virgin Mary leads us into battle not to victory, but defeat, so as to remind us that her victories are not of this world, but of God. Even the emperor Alexios had to leave the battlefield without her maphorion; just because you carry her banner doesn't mean you are going to enjoy worldly success. And that is okay, too.

4. Theology really is the answer, I don't need to look anywhere else. It may be helpful and, indeed, interesting to think about what the sciences can teach us about ourselves and the world, but ultimately the big questions can only be answered through theology, that is, scriptural exegesis (the study of God's revelation) and contemplation (the reflection on the image of God in the world and in the human soul).

5. It is okay and, indeed, entirely appropriate for introverts like myself to need downtime from talking with people or taking care of business. This is not laziness or dithering, but absolutely essential recovery. As, for example, writing this blog post rather than getting on with more "important" things like grading papers, writing letters of reference or reading for class. If I don't do things like this, I will never have the energy to do the things that otherwise count as "work."

6. Whatever I am doing at the moment (working, goofing off, exercising, resting) is exactly what I should be doing, nothing less--and nothing more. I do not need to spend my life convinced that I am "behind". Nor do I need to spend it convinced that whatever I am doing, I should be doing something else. The very last thing I need to be doing is making plans for how tomorrow is going to be different because, unlike today, "tomorrow I am going to exercise/work/eat/think perfectly." What I am doing now is perfect already because it is what I am doing.

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