As a child, I possessed a food-o-graphic memory.
/fo͞od ōˌgrafik ˈmem(ə)rē/
The ability to remember the contents of your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator in explicit detail.
I developed this short-lived superhuman power from countless mind-bending hours spent mesmerized by our pantry.
This obsession with goodies resulted in three things:
- I shouted: “I want some,” whenever I heard *anyone* open the refrigerator door for *anything*
- I earned the family moniker “garbage can.” I once tasted a spoonful of solidified bacon grease because it looked like custard to me
- My mother used me as her living grocery list
“Kim, do we need flour?”
“The container has this much left in it,” I’d respond with my hands.
Sweet or savory, I didn’t care. I loved food and ate copious amounts of it. Only a super-charged metabolism inherited from good genes staved off childhood obesity. Later, the faster-paced life of adulthood meant I ate less but gobbled my food down more quickly – no more time for pantry gazing nor meal grazing.
That’s why my friends’ comments the other night struck me. We had just wound up the dessert portion of a lovely three-course meal and were discussing boxing up leftovers.
“You didn’t even put a dent in yours,” Jodi exclaimed to me, eyeing my strawberry shortcake.
“Ugh! It’s just too much,” I said patting my belly.
“Well, we know Kim’s a dainty eater,” Kristen chimed in. “The pinky-extended kind.”
Dainty eater? My mind reeled for a moment as I defended the remains of my cake carcass. But then I realized their observations were correct.
I still love food, no doubt – our girls’ night out was tied to Gainesville Restaurant Week after all – but somewhere along the way to age 39, I’d learned to pace myself better.
This epiphany seemed all the more appropriate given what else happened last week – when I decided not to blog even though my schedule dictated that I should post at least twice.
I opted out of my writing commitment last week (and absolved myself for a bit longer) after two family emergencies, a three-day work trip and extra projects collided. Combined, they overloaded my proverbial plate.
I debated about powering through and posting anyway, but I knew my stress level would skyrocket and that I’d be less than pleased with the results. So both in contrast to and in support of what I wrote recently in “What’s Your Excuse?,” I chose to say no – to myself this time.
Summer solstice or not, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day and you have to know when to say when!
p.s. Given that I’ve used two food analogies in as many months (see Eat the Cake), clearly I’ve got some more work to do on the food obsession front.
How about you? Do you know when to say when? Or do you view “saying when” as a sign of weakness?
(This post is one of 30 30-somethings I’m writing for the weekly countdown to my 40th birthday. Celebrate with me as I share other lessons or humbling experiences from the past decade.)