SoCS – Too Much On Your Plate?

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “on your/my plate.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

Grandma always said if you couldn’t finish your meal, it was because “your eyes were bigger than your stomach”. I never totally understood that when I was 6, but I do now. I also couldn’t figure out how cleaning my plate helped the starving children in Africa, either. Man, the 1970’s were confusing (that’s an understatement, and fodder for another blog, another time),

The one thing I DID understand was that if I didn’t finish what was on my plate, I wasn’t getting dessert, and you ALWAYS wanted dessert at grandma’s. It was actually a little more complex than that: your dessert serving size was in proportion to how much of your plate you finished – clean plate, full dessert; half plate, half dessert. You get the idea, The geometric calculations were a little fuzzy for us at the kids’ table, but we got the basic idea: Don’t take more than you can finish, and make sure you can finish what you take, because dessert it waiting.

That’s a freakin’ good life lesson – let’s take it out of metaphor.

I am a pleaser/do-er. You need it done? I’ll do it. Or… at least I’ll put it on my plate. That’s how I’m wired. I’m also wired to FINISH. At work we did one of those 27 different work-styles tests, and it turns out I score high on “Tenacity”.

Duh. Have you met me?

So, quick review:

  • I put everything on my plate that’s being served. It’s the polite and right thing to do, even if my eyes are WAY bigger than my stomach.
  • Then I tenaciously work to finish everything on my plate, because DAMN IT, I WANT MY FULL DESSERT PORTION.

This is not necessarily a good combo. Sometimes I can do it all, and I’m everyone’s superhero.

Sometimes I collapse.

I’ve learned a lot since the collapse:

  • I put less on my plate.
  • I keep the shame of saying “no” in check (this was/is a major undertaking – if you know me, you know)
  • I’ve become less bothered by not cleaning my plate and sacrificing some dessert. Some things just don’t get “eaten”, and that’s OKAY.
  • I’m learning to share what is already on my plate with others who have capacity and perhaps more expertise.

I’m not saying any of these new realizations are easy. I often have to push past a LOT of fear of real or imagined disappointment from others to make sure I don’t stuff myself to the point where I want to vomit (or worse), but I’m doing it.

Little by little.

One serving at a time.

One bite at a time.

I’m right-sizing what’s on my plate.

And that is making all the difference.

And now… some breakfast. But only as much as I can finish.

#SoCS comes from the website of Linda G. Hill.

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

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