In Getting Out of B.E.D., I include a few stories about how I regularly mark happy occasions with food. “A celebration isn’t complete without cake” was practically my mantra. Well, last night I celebrated my last class of my master’s degree…without cake. Of course, I’m having a graduation party for myself in a few weeks and there will definitely be lots of food and cake, but last night I had this radical idea on my drive home from school: “I wonder what would happen if I didn’t celebrate with cake tonight?” (Because believe me, I was considering driving to Acme to buy one!) “What if I give myself some food for my spirit instead of food for my stomach?”
I walked in the door, dropped my schoolbag on a chair, and headed towards the stairs. My resolve almost melted as I walked through the kitchen to get to the stairs and heard the box of Ghiradelli brownie mix calling to me from the cupboard. I shook my head and retreated upstairs to my “writing room”. I found the journal I’ve been writing in since last summer and opened to the last three blank pages. “Dear Megan,” I wrote. “Congratulations!!!” Yes, that’s right. I wrote myself a congratulations letter. As I tapped deeper into my kind, wise self, loving thoughts and words of wisdom poured from my pen. I wrote to myself about how many things I had accomplished in the past three years. I wrote about my personal and professional progress. And at the end, I made a list of “words of wisdom” that I want to remember. When the letter was finished, I read the words my kind, wise self had written and cried. I had just celebrated the end of my journey towards my M.A. in Clinical-Counseling Psychology. And I had done so without cake. The food for my spirit went a longer way towards fueling me than cake would have.
What reasons do you have to celebrate? They don’t have to be huge successes. Think of all the little things you accomplished or progress you’ve made or kind things you’ve done for yourself or others. Consider celebrating those things with some kind of food for your spirit instead of food for your stomach.
Peace, joy, and health.