Here's the headline to which I refer in the headline of this post:
How Michael Prager’s Book Helped Me Make Lunch for My Kid
The writer, who goes by the name Raphelia on her blog, Recognizing Abundance, is referring to a bit in the book in which I quote really good advice I got from my pal and mentor, Phil Werdell. He said that if, when I'm measuring out my yogurt, a smear of it gets on my finger, I should wipe it off, not lick it off.
Can I just share with you, my friends, that even though this might seem like petty, anal bullshit, it is a deeply important concept.
On the practical level, big deal, right? If that happened every day, even, would it amount to a cup of yogurt over the year? What, a couple hundred calories? B.F.D!
But no: The salient point regards boundaries. If my plan calls a cup of yogurt, that's not a cup and a smear. I've found that when I "get away with" a smear, I am more likely, say, to toss that last piece of carrot, the one that didn't fit in the measuring cup, into my mouth. And if that goes "OK," then some other tiny boundary fall is coming.
When you have — when I have — boundaries that are more like options than living guidelines, I'm really just waiting for the big crash. That's not dogma, that's experience, from an era when I didn't go more than a month or two without breaking out in a binge. OK, it is dogma now, but it came from experience.
I've heard it observed that the only definition of a writer is one who writes. You can say you're a writer, but it's really only determined by action. The same thing goes for having boundaries: I can say whatever I want, but evidence of having boundaries is only by acting within them.
Thanks to Raphelia for finding meaning in the story, which gave me the spur to talk about it. Thanks also to her, of course, for the mention.