wasn’t invulnerable to days where I was impatient, fussy, grumpy, moody, selfish,
truculent, tactless . . . well, you get the picture. I was and am human.
And temptation to soothe my weary body and soul? Not a day went by, especially
when the girls were home for three meals a day and wanted snacks while studying, and I
was doing the shopping and cooking without appreciation of my efforts, when I didn’t
yearn for at least half a tub of ice cream. Mothers want to please their children.
The temptations came with every social engagement. I was enticed by the alluring
aromas and visual appeal of new entrees and desserts served at the frequent dinners,
luncheons, buffets, and cocktail parties that were a part of our Michigan-based world. I
wasn’t exempt from wanting to taste each one. Or to please my host. Or to avoid
appearing rude or unthankful or picky or difficult to please. Or to relieve stress.
Addictions are not only mind-tricks to cover loneliness and regrets over all our past
indiscretions, but also for our fears of future judgment, ridicule, rejection or failure. In
other words, all the ‘what ifs.’
I enlisted a few new friends to act as my professional testers. They enjoyed and
enthused over the tantalizing dishes prepared by our hosts or chefs and then described the
flavors to me bite by bite. Silly and entertaining as it was, this system of tricking my
mind worked. Even today, I can fully savor elaborate preparations without actually eating
them. I have cravings galore, but I approach them differently. I visualize myself in the
dentist chair having implant surgery, or I hold a few anise or fennel seeds in my mouth as
Over time, I learned that a craving only lasts for a few minutes and distraction works
to dispel it—even if the distraction means marching through the house while lustily
singing a few rounds of Disney’s Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah or the much-loved children’s song
Mairzy Doats, which has been passed down through families since 1943.
I also remind myself that temptation is no respecter of persons, regardless of income,
importance, race, beliefs, or sexual orientation. Without a strict resolve and support
system to end a destructive habit (even if it’s only one person), a gambler is rarely able to
resist one more opportunity to win a fortune, a drug addict remains alert to where and
when the next ‘fix’ will take place, and a Casanova (Don Juan, philanderer) is ready for a
new conquest with the rising of each day’s sun. A sugar addict, like me, is one taste away
from a galloping indulgence.
These days, all of us are bombarded with temptations of a new kind via television
ads—must-have digital products with magical capabilities that allow us to make our
voices heard worldwide in seconds. Smartphones and iPads. Too many of us, our family,
friends and business associates become addicted to texting and snapping instant photos of
ourselves or others to send into a system that will make them available to viewers
worldwide (even potential employers) forever.
It’s not only children and teenagers who find it humorous and safe to hide behind
diatribes against peers, parents or anyone with a different opinion. Adults do, too. Most
ignore the fact that their ugly behavior and inappropriate language will be available to
anyone with knowledge of how to search for and find anything associated with their
name. Such investigations may become the reason why a college or university turns them
down for entrance as a student, or why they are unemployable in the future, or why they
don’t receive the promotion they expected.
Addictions of any kind are harmful.
Addictions are created by us; we fool ourselves into thinking we’re in control of them.
Addictions require a change in our mental
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