the things we feed ourselves

I've always hated packing a lunch.  It's easier to buy, more convenient, and most places make better food than I could make for myself, anyway.  But lately - due to a combination of health and financial reasons - I've started bringing my lunch to work every day.

It's turned into a small ritual for me.  Each night I wash and dry all my little lunch containers, and refill them with things I like to eat.  And as much as I thought I would hate it... y'know, it's actually nice to know where my food comes from.  I can pack things that I know are healthy and that I will enjoy.  And I know it sounds silly, but something about this teeny-tiniest of transformations has started to reverberate through the rest of my day.

Rather than go out and choose from a list of overpriced and relatively unhealthy things to eat each day, I'm being mindful about the food I'm putting into my body.  I'm pausing my evening for just long enough to really think about it.  I'm choosing what is good for me, and cutting out what isn't.  And I keep thinking this very obvious thought.  Nothing earthshattering, but it keeps hitting me:

The things that feed us are the things we feed ourselves.

It sounds simple, but I suppose that so much of the time I'm walking around just letting things happen to me.  I have to eat, so I'll just go out and pick up whatever seems least gross.  I have to work, so I'll show up and put my head down and count the minutes until I can get back to my "real" life. 

I've been content to feed myself whatever's easiest, whatever's readily available.  But not caring is a choice.  Failing to pay attention is a choice.  I look around at the life I'm building for myself and I wonder how much of it is standing on foundations I just happened to land on, and never thought to change.
In some ways, of course, I'm always culling and planting, culling and planting.  I go through cycles where I cut way back, and then swing around with open arms and gather everything in.  But in the past I've usually thought about this in terms of my relationships with people - who are my priorities? - and my living space - what can I get rid of, and what can I bring in?

These days it seems to be more about myself and my time.  What behaviors of mine are serving me?  What things do I need to do so that I can do the things that I want to do?  What am I feeding myself, literally and figuratively?  And what have I been content to just sit back and consume because it's there?

I'm responsible for feeding myself.  I'm responsible for what goes into my brain and my body.  My life is made up of the things to which I direct my attention.

In some ways, this means that my days have gotten smaller.  I read.  I write.  I run.  I'm perusing fewer blogs, watching less television.  I'm talking more to people who make me smile.  Spending more time alone.  I'm thinking carefully about where I put my time and energy, and turning away from things that aren't feeding me.

Every night I pack a lunch, and every day I eat it.  And so far, so good.


  1. Not settling for whatever you happened to have settled on is definitely a good way to go. You know, healthy mindfulness and all that.

    Like when it comes to TV, I never just sit down and let myself be limited to whatever's on - I tape shows, so whether it's "NOVA" or "Frasier," I got something good ready to go, and I can zap the commercials, too.

  2. Yes! I'm doing that as well. And life is so much better without commercials. :)