\ There's a Potato Chip in My Slipper | Christina Brandt

Christina Brandt

Sunday, February 5th, 2023 | Making "What's Next?" What Matters ™

Yup, there really is a potato chip in my slipper. I found it this morning when I came into my office and turned on the computer.

Last night, I was bored. I did the “grazing thing,” walking in and out of the kitchen, grabbing nibbles and wandering back to the sofa to watch bad TV, or over to my computer to check Facebook one more time in case something exciting happened. While on Facebook, I was popping chips into my mouth and didn’t even notice they were falling out of my hand, into my shoe.  Yikes.  Talk about unconscious eating!

So what’s the big deal about a few chips, some Facebook scanning and boob tube watching (she asks, defensively)? Nothing, unless it becomes a regular habit. Or when those activities replace the reading of a good book, which I’ve been complaining I never have time for. Or when I say I have no time to work on a creative project that’s been left unfinished. Or, most importantly, when I am using those activities to NOT FEEL SOMETHING.

When I don’t allow myself to feel, I miss the experience of noticing the thoughts that are causing the feeling. First, I thought I was bored, but underneath the boredom was this: “I’d really like some company right now, and there’s no one here. I’m lonely and I have no friends.” When I finally acknowledged the feeling and got to the thought/lie that I’m friendless, I got off Facebook, put the chips away, and called a friend. Loneliness over. Problem solved.

Next time you’re stuffing your face, or frantic about something, ask yourself “What don’t I want to know right now.” It’s a powerful question. Avoiding it doesn’t lead to happiness. It just leads to stuff in your shoe. And we all know how uncomfortable that is.

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