Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Today is the day I stop saying I deserve something/anything/everything.
Ever since I became aware of the reward system, I've felt like I deserved more. As a child, I deserved a treat if I made it through the school day, didn't argue with my sisters, didn't make my father mad at me. As an adult, I deserved to stop by Mickey D's for hot and fresh French fries if I had a hard day at work. As a married person, we deserved to have lots of fun, including lots of food, on the weekends, if we made it through another week. As a mom, I deserved some sort of treat just for getting through another day of crying kids, poopy diapers, and too many hours spent without another adult to talk to.
According to the dictionary, the word 'deserve' means to be entitled to, as a result of past actions. There is nothing wrong with the word itself ~ it's the mental image that plays through my mind every time I hear that word come out of my mouth. I see a little girl, stamping her little foot, saying: I deserve this because...
But that attitude is what got me into all this poundage. Thinking that I deserve some sort of food reward for getting through another day of an ordinary life. So I'm not going to say that word any more. I'm not going to be that little girl who stomps her foot, demanding that someone give me something for ordinary events.
That doesn't mean I won't say: I'd like... I'd like a cup of tea from DDonuts on the way to work because it's going to be cold in my office. I'd like to spend an afternoon reading because it's my favorite activity. I'd like to have a nice dinner out with my husband, where we get a chance to talk over our week, make plans for the upcoming days.
And I won't stop saying: I've earned... I've earned a hot bath, with long, cool drink at hand, because I worked out hard at the gym. I've earned a long drive in the country because I got through a hectic week with blowing my top. I've earned the praises I get when someone comments on how great my 2 boys turned out. And yes, I will sometimes say that I earned a few peanut M&Ms, because I've planned for them in my daily nutrition tracking.
Earning is to gain success, reward, recognition through applied effort or hard work. It's not given just because... There is a big difference in my mind between deserving something and earning it. So today is the day I stop saying: I deserve, and I start saying I have earned.