I’m not feeling so hungry any more.

Usually when I come down to my parents’ house I end up feeling a little deprived and frustrated in the evenings as there aren’t really any “snacks” as such – like you can make some toast, or cheese and crackers, or some kind of “grown up” snack, but none of the stuff we usually have in our own house.

I guess at home I’d stopped noticing that I was snacking less frequently, that the reminder to myself that I wasn’t actually hungry was actually working some of the time.

So anyway, we went out to dinner, came back, stayed up chatting for a while, I had a cup of tea with one bournville cookie and it was enough. Maybe more than enough! It was weird, but cool. Maybe finally it’s starting to become habit to not eat unless I’m hungry.

I was reading the Facebook status of an acquaintance who mentioned they’d recently been trying something similar. She said she was following the advice of some website or other that was recommending one try and become aware if and when one was hungry and only eat under those circumstances. She was complaining that all this advice had done for her was to remind her of how hungry she feels all the time. I wanted to comment on the post, I wanted to say about how it had felt like that for me at the beginning, and how difficult it is to actually tell the difference between hungry for food and hungry for something to fill an undefined hole somewhere inside yourself.

I didn’t comment, despite the rows of advice on drinking more water, exercise or just agreeing that it was bad advice – despite wanting to and even feeling like maybe my advice could help. I didn’t comment because I thought it might sound a bit patronising. And because I didn’t want to come across as someone who “knows better” in such a public forum. And because, really, I think some of what I think I know for myself wasn’t stuff I could have learned by being directly told. I had to excavate it out for myself.

So, look, I don’t feel smug about things going well for me. I feel pleased for sure, and I’d love to talk about it more, but then I feel like I’d sound smug. Every day I interact physically with people who I admire and respect and want to have long conversations with. But you can’t have long conversations in 10-15 minutes while all involved are trying to refuel. And you can’t talk about anything more involved than the weather and the workload when you’re surrounded by another thirty people. I feel uncomfortable and out of place because I’m not good at witty small chat. I feel like I come across too earnest and a bit like a stereotypical nerd. I’d be pretty happy to discuss books or maths or philosophy in my break, but it’s a hard segue to make.

Am I just all intense, all of the time? Someone told me – in a friendly manner – to slow down and relax the other day when I was heading early to class. It’s not that I can’t, I just don’t want to. If I worked with less passion, I’d actually enjoy it less. It would be more work for me to slightly phone it in.

All the same, I’ve gotten better at accepting the limitations of time and energy, and how I need to distribute a sizeable portion of the day’s time and energy to my own life and projects.

I’m feeling pretty good at the moment. I’m spending more of my days in a sort of calm “up” sort of mood – despite often feeling tired, it’s nothing like the TiredOfWorld feelings that I’d become accustomed to. I’m not saying I never get ennui. I’m not saying I don’t have bad moods. But the prevailing winds are blowing more positive emotions through me. It feels good. I feel lucky. And I want to share “how I did it” with everyone I care about. I want to make them feel better.

But sometimes I guess that can come across as trying to make them better.

Like they’re not already good enough.

And that’s not what I would mean, that’s never what I would mean. And besides, I’m not even sure what I’ve “done” as such. Sure, quitting alcohol is part of it, but I don’t think that’s a defined and definite path to more happiness for everyone. It’s been more … time and small adjustments I guess.

Paying attention. Like I’ve suspected for a long time.

Advertisements