Have you ever noticed that the more you have, the more you want? And the less satisfying what you do get seems?
I’ve noticed this especially with eating out: the more I eat out, the more I want to eat out. It would be easier for me not to eat out at all than for me to eat out in moderation. At first I thought that this was because I might be addicted to the preservatives you find in food (which is still probably true) but I think there’s more to it than that. I think that we get caught up in the cycle of more. Things normalize, and suddenly what was special before is just ordinary, so we want more to make our lives interesting again.
You see this with kids who are used to getting stacks of gifts for Christmas and birthdays. They tear through the pile of presents and announce “is that it?!” instead of feeling grateful and happy for the gifts they’ve received.
People call kids who behave like that “brats”, but maybe it’s not so much that they’re brats — maybe it’s that they just say what we all think now and then: Is that it? Is buying the latest and greatest TV/car/cell phone/dinner out/whatever all there is to life? If getting what we think we want isn’t enough to satisfy us, what is? So we go in search of more, better, snazzier.
Maybe what we need to do is the exact opposite: go in search of less, so that we have the ability to cut through the mass of too much to appreciate enough.
When I briefly went on a very low-fat diet for health reasons a few years ago, I couldn’t even begin to describe how good a pat of butter spread on some wheat toast tasted. It was AMAZING. It was no longer ordinary. I really enjoyed every bite of that toast. And isn’t that what life’s really about? Enjoying what we do have, and being present, instead of spending our time chasing the endless more?