Red Hair, Blue Jello: Are You Hungry or Tired?
Monday afternoon and night, I was very tired. So I ate a lot. Not exactly logical or a solution to the problem, but overeating felt like the right thing to do.
I’ve long known that a gutsy move would be to learn how to figure out which bell is ringing and answer that one: i.e., sleep when I’m tired, eat when I’m hungry, that sort of thing.
Instead what happens is, if I feel a shortage of any of the basics, the solution seems to be to do anything that feels good. At another moment this week when I was impatient to get an email that hadn’t arrived, I bid on a pair of gold driving loafers on Ebay. And years ago, when I’d been waiting for months for a visa to spend a winter in India researching my novel, I dealt with the problem by putting a very red rinse on my hair.
So this morning, I googled “needs confusion.” What I mostly found had a punctuation mark in between: “…needs. Confusion…” I did learn some interesting facts: that blue food is a natural hunger suppressant. (I should tell this to the folks who run my regular lunch spot, the K&W cafeteria, who frequently have blue Jello in the salad section at the front of the line.) I also learned that others have failed to find an easy solution. From the blue-Jello blog: “It would have been helpful to receive a user manual with your body. I would have settled for one page, hand written or even just an outline.”
The answer seems to be:
*pay attention to the signals.
*And then, the tricky part: do something relevant to the actual problem or lack. That takes discipline, which is one of the often-unrecognized and very important pieces of serious and effective boldness. I like the leaping component better.
There’s also a parallel problem to this needs-confusion that I run across fairly regularly: when work has to be finished on deadline, I sometimes vigorously set to work at breakfingers-speed on something else. As if some free-floating sense of urgency were all that was needed. More on this one later.