Sadness is a curious thing. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it, lingers when you least want it, and comes running all too quickly when you call for it.
I read an interesting blog post today, [check it out] one that glosses over the science of being bored… You may think where is she going with this boredom and sadness and pie what even is happening here….? BUT.
Point is, there’s lots of things our minds can wander to, as shown in the below graphic [borrowed from Chris Bailey’s post]. I’m going to refer to the graphic as a whole as a pie. There are three, if you will, slices [albeit SUPER uneven. My OCD would be HELLA acting up if I had to share this pie with people as is, with the current slice situation as it is.]
But anyways. Bear with me, here.
Our minds, in moments of boredom, have a tendency to wander between slices.
While this graphic shows that our minds tend to only wander to the “past” part of the pie maybe approximately 1/8 of the time, that 1/8 can be a pretty dark piece of the whole pie. [It also doesn’t help that, here, in this graphic, the “past” is depicted as the darkest colour… some subconscious associations…? Coincidence….?] Sadness, confusion, anger… at what was, what we’ve done, what we cannot change, who we’ve known… All of these things can make up and factor into the darkest slice. And sometimes, I find myself lingering on that slice, letting it weigh in and erode my thoughts as I myself eat away at it like it’s going to fill me and fuel me, even when I know it will not.
But alas, there’s hope, my optimistic side wants to shout. That little dark piece isn’t the whole pie. Heck, there’s plenty of grey and lighter grey pie to go around, to keep us busy when we don’t have the time or energy [or, sometimes, the strength] to delve into the darker pieces! But throwing yourself at the rest of the pie slices and losing yourself in them isn’t quite a cure-all either.
Should we just go along, gallivanting eating the rest of the pie 100% of the time and ignore the past/the sad parts of the pie or pretend it never existed?
Of course not.
That being said, we shouldn’t–heck– I shouldn’t spend too much time just nibbling away at the dark parts either. Just because they’re there, easily accessible to me as a midnight snack–or last-resort fodder in a moment of boredom–doesn’t mean I have to eat it
[I’m so sorry this analogy just keeps spewing out and now I’m hungry for pie–cherry, to be precise].
In fact, I’ve come to notice that this small fraction of the pie is unusually powerful. It has this way of making me want to keep returning to it, regardless of whether or not it is healthy for me. It tests my self control. But it also makes me realize that I have the power to do with these slices as I wish.
I could binge on the dark pieces and completely ignore the rest of the pie.
I could gobble up the light pieces and cut out the dark pieces, just to throw them away
[or compost them, because come on it’s 2018 and it was literally 60 degrees in January a week or so ago].
I can put the dark pieces in microwave-safe tupperware to save for later, for those times I want a taste. A bite here and there when I’m feeling nostalgic, or if I feel particularly overloaded by the saccharine of the other slices.
A little indulgence every now and again is not a bad thing. Zooming out to make sense of the whole pie and how the slices interlock is quite necessary. So is eating a balanced diet.
Yes, I must make peace with the pieces.