|The Artist and Her Daughter - Vigee-LeBrun - Public Domain|
Halloween saw me gather a little bowl of snacks (none of which were given out because we didn't have any trick-or-treaters), and I reflected on how many times I have given myself a treat to goad myself out of a bad mood, to lift a blue mood, or to make myself feel better physically.
Let me be clear: The treats "work." For me, there is nothing like a hearty serving of something chocolate to make the hurt go away. The beloved Braveheart (now of blessed memory) had his own recipe for "PMS Pudding" that worked every single time he prepared it for me.
As vices go, chocolate is among the more minor. As a mature Christian woman, I have to wonder if I should need some sort of substance crutch to overcome the ordinary challenges of life. As a mother, I have to wonder what sort of example I am setting for the youngsters. I wonder, too, how many times I may have "treated" them out of unwanted behaviors, in a way rewarding those unwanted behaviors.
In addition, I have noted that frequently the treats are foods that are not good for me. Chocolate usually includes a fairly large sugar hit. I enjoy crunchy foods, too, a favorite being salt and vinegar potato chips, not the healthiest choice for a woman who has been told to lessen her sodium consumption.
The rewarding of unwanted behaviors can even becoming cyclical, I have observed. I feel out of sorts; I have the treat; I feel unhappy with myself for succumbing to the lure of the treat; I have another treat. Fortunately, this cycle does not occur often.
What can I do to change? One idea I have had lately is to turn walking or extra Bible reading time into a treat, both of which would edify my spirit. I could also give myself a non-substance treat of sending an e-mail to a friend, or I could take ten minutes to compose and to post a brief blog post.
Almost anything would be better than hitting the leftover Halloween candy...again.