Today’s news ran a piece about the limits of self-control and willpower. Denver Post writer Suzanne Brown wrote (and I paraphrase):”
"Studies show willpower is a mind-body response; it's limited, trainable and using it depletes resources in the body, lowering blood glucose levels and causing fatigue. Given the limits, people should conserve willpower for times when they really need it.”
No wonder I’m so tired and having trouble concentrating on work. Why I can’t seem to get going on the projects running laps in my head or decide which mattress to buy. The willpower switch is in the constant “on” position, keeping me on the straight and narrow, in the gym and out of the chips, in my pants and not out of them with someone whose favorite color or Beatle I don’t know yet. Willpower compels me to buy a size smaller. Willpower assures me sometimes it's better to leave by the back door and throw away the key.
Willpower tells me I am happy.
It's not simply “think it and be it”; rather the other side of the it’s-out-of-my-hands mentality of “The Secret” or organized religion. It’s not wishing, doctrine or what Oprah “Knows For Sure”. Willpower believes everyday is Anything Can Happen Day and knows one must take action to be accountable.
Last night I met a handsome man in town for the week, on a business trip. He’s married but in a “separation situation”. He made a swank late night dinner and the chocolate and red wine decorating his suite sound like something more than an enticing hookup. Willpower took me home and took me to bed*. I continue to nourish myself in mind and body, not let a weekend alone find me on my knees with a technically-married-man or roaming the salty and sweet, soft and creamy internal labyrinth of the grocery store, the aisles where comfort foods dwell. Willpower keeps me in the healthy, crunchy perimeter.
The article closes:
”Forgive yourself when you have a setback. Fuel yourself with positive experiences so you'll be strong when you need to be.”
*Willpower doesn't completely disengage casual fun. But willpower demands respect. Willpower wants a proper date.