Refilling my reusable tumbler with water, I noticed them out of the corner of my eye. Warm rings of golden brown fried goodness, pub style onion rings nestled in the warmer tray behind the slanted glass of the cafeteria line.
The image of them borrowed into my brain, pushing out the other mundane workday thoughts, until I was completely consumed by the thought of them. Immediately, I tried to guilt myself.
“You don’t need those. In fact, you shouldn’t have them. You have a lunch upstairs. You have an extra ten pounds. There will always be more onion rings.”
This last statement is something I’ve taught myself to think in the grip of temptation. I meant for it to be a warrior’s whoop for when I find myself surrounded by food I love and “shouldn’t” eat. Pizza, cookies, brownies, onion rings. And it’s true, there will always be more. The world won’t cease to provide these foods, there will always be another party or potluck. I don’t need to have them this instant for fear that I will miss the opportunity. Call it the fear of missing out: food edition.
So I followed my own advice. I walked away. I returned to my desk. I sipped on my newly refreshed, zero calorie water. I tried not to think about onion rings.
Then I stopped trying not think about them. I wanted those god damn onion rings. And I was going to have them. Today. Right now. Because there will always be more onion rings, but today there was nothing in the world I wanted more.
Five minutes and two dollars later I sat down and savored every greasy bite.
I have no regrets.
We need to stop “shoulding” all over ourselves. It’s toxic, it sets us up to fail, it’s a complete waste of time. Let’s all stop dictating to ourselves about what we should or shouldn’t do. Just do it because you want to. Or don’t.
I’ll start. With onion rings.