Friday, September 11, 2015

Setting Boundaries

There is a real conflict between what we want when we are cool, calm and collected, and when emotions get involved. Emotions are awesome. They are the stuff of life. The juice. However, they mean that in the moment, we are not going to make the same decisions we would if we were an avatar. If we were controlling ourselves from a distance. If we had Self Control.

Controlling an Angry Avatar

I am relatively good at getting up in the morning when I am forced to. I probably fall into the morning person category, even though I love sleep. When I was doing the daily commute thing, Morning Me used to battle between the very unpleasant tube journey if I slept in, and the very comfy bed if I didn't move. Being squashed against some sweaty, hairy, bearded man doesn't sound attractive to me. So I got up.

Another example of useful self-control was snacking and Yoga. I used to get home from work just before a Yoga class at 8pm. From 5pm onwards Tummy Me would be weighing the yumminess of various snacks on offer versus the feeling of arching your back, holding your ankles, and rolling around on your stomach. Yoga is fantastic when you feel light. Not so much when you are stuffed. It wasn't a rational choice that stopped me from getting those ridiculously yummy, chocolate filled doughnuts from Leon. It was a tummy battle, and feeling great in Yoga won. 

Everything in moderation, including moderation


I think we can set traps/constraints for ourselves to control for the situations where we don't do quite what we would want. Like parenting our inner toddler, not providing any boundaries isn't freedom. Sometimes constraints allow for more creativity. We can script for situations where we know we usually don't behave in the way we want.

I started taking the bus on the way home, partly because being above the ground was more pleasant, but also because the bus didn't pass a stand with chocolates. On a commute, I knew that after a long day at work I always 'deserved' a chocolate. Today I had always 'worked really hard'. My inner toddler is adorable. I love my inner toddler. There is no way I can so no. The bus meant I didn't have to.

My inner toddler still wins lots of battles. I still, weirdly, don't eat messy fruit. But I am getting more cunning. Slowly.
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