Two words: bad habits. But easily fallen into.
Not only that, they also make a great name for a convent rock band.
I was thinking about bad habits as I munched my way through a piece of carrot cake. It was my birthday and a carrot cake is as good a way as any to see in another year. Although, really, if I were being completely true to the things I write on this blog, a piece of cake might not seem quite such a good idea. All that sugar, you see.
The carrot cake was not really the problem – far from it – and it was delicious. The problem was more my trip to Tesco to buy cakes for the team at work. It’s a birthday-office thing, you can’t avoid it. But you can do it well. A couple of years ago, I wowed the office with Mrs Gill’s cakes: local cakes and very well received. This year: Tesco. Because I was feeling lazy, or I was in a hurry, or because it’s just so damn convenient.
I know which one is better. I know which I should buy. But I didn’t. I went to Tesco.
Did my colleagues care? I don’t think so. Would they have preferred Mrs Gill’s cakes? I’m certain of it. Will I go back to Tesco next year? That’s the tricky one. If I’m feeling virtuous then I won’t. If I have slipped back into the habit of swinging into the supermarket, then possibly I will.
Where’s the harm in it? That depends on how deeply you delve, and my issue at the moment is that I am struggling to find the time or the inclination to look very far. I’m busy, work’s busy, things are happening, and my good intentions slip away. And in their place: bad habits, so easily shrugged on like a comfortable old coat. This is not my problem; this is everyone’s problem. Being sensible, being vigilant, and doing the right thing, these are all a challenge when you’re busy. Particularly when we live in a world that sets us up to value convenience over anything else.
Could we have convenience and the right thing? I don’t see why not, but I don’t think that’s where we are today. It’s certainly not how I felt when I stepped out of the supermarket door with a bag full of cookies and mini-rolls.
Please don’t think I was sat there in a maudlin mood. After all, there was Mrs RB’s carrot cake to keep me happy. And I also realised that another birthday means another mark in the Running Buffet calendar. This all started with a realisation on my 30th birthday, four years ago.
Thinking about that first blog post triggered another thought, which was this: were it not for writing for this blog then I wouldn’t care nearly as much as I do about the food I eat, nor would I now be worrying about not worrying about it. I doubt I would have entered any running races. I probably wouldn’t even be running as much as I am now (and there could be more of that going on – another bad habit). I wouldn’t have become as aware of the brilliance of good beer, searched out illusive bottles, or tried so many of Devon’s food producers. There would have been no trips to the farm, to spend time with chickens, nor would I have had a need to spend an afternoon in a pub in Basingstoke. I wouldn’t have read half the things I have read, or found out any of the things I have learnt from other bloggers.
So all-in-all, it’s not been a bad four years. And if I slip into bad habits from time-to-time, then I think that’s only natural. On which note, I’m off to finish the last of the carrot cake; I can’t leave temptation lying around for too long now can I?