Over the years I have done the old ‘I’ll-buy-myself-the-‘family block’-and-make-sure-I-only-have-a-small-piece-(or two)-after-dinner-and-it’ll-last-until-my-next-big-shop’ dance more than once. It never ended well.
I would start with the very best of intentions. I would eat one small piece of chocolate (slowly, slowly, savouring it, letting it melt in my mouth) and then another . . . and maybe just one more. Then I’d ‘be good’ and put the rest safely away and go do some reading, or work in the garden, or get out my sketchpad and pens and . . . nope . . . no good. How could I possibly concentrate on anything else when there was chocolate in the house begging to be eaten? It was beyond me. I would invariably end up eating the whole block and then spend the rest of the day castigating myself (‘. . . this is the very last time . . . I will not be buying any more . . . no more . . . ever . . . ‘) while also madly trying to exercise my latest indiscretion away. (Where was Dr Phil and his ‘How’s that working for you?’ when I needed him?)
Moderation does not come easily to me. For some people it is perfectly sensible to have only one piece of cake, or one glass of wine, or to buy one pair of shoes at a time. I am not one of those people. I struggle against ‘wanting’ things all the time. I want another sketchbook (although I still have a stack in my office that I haven’t used yet). I want that lovely red sweater I saw on-line the other day (I already have a red sweater, although, in my defence, it’s not the same kind of red) . . . and I want another puppy (sssshhhh, don’t tell the girls . . . )
I don’t need . . . but I want.
I am (slowly) getting better at wanting less. Wanting less ‘things’ at least (although, puppies . . . sigh . . . ) but I still struggle hugely when it come to food. Especially sweet food like biscuits . . . and cake . . . . and lollies . . . and chocolate. I (usually) manage to keep these constant cravings at bay—at home at least. I just don’t keep any of those lovely sweet, sticky, yummy things in my house. Out of sight out of mind. Right? (Fair warning: if you come to visit me you will need to bring your own cookies with you.) Most of time this strategy works . . .
. . . but not at Easter. Easter eggs are my downfall. The first Easter eggs appeared in our shops here right around New Year. I remember thinking, ‘Well, that’s just rude. It’s pure commercialism and I am not going to buy into it.’ And I didn’t. I made sure to quickly avert my eyes every time I came across them (or hot cross buns) in the supermarket aisles—I was not going to get sucked in. Not this year. I felt all very virtuous and pleased with myself.
And then two weeks ago one of our college students presented me with a great big scrummy chocolate Easter Bunny. He was gorgeous. I took him home promising myself I would not touch him until much, much closer to Easter. Who was I kidding? I don’t think he even made it to tea-time. Sigh.
Since then other lovely friends have also gifted me with all manner of glorious festive Eastery treats. So that’s it. I’m done for. Chocolate coma, here I come . . .