Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Two Desserts a Day

I was joking here about a Two Dessert a Day Challenge and Stephanie in the comments took me up on it:

"That would be somewhat like challenging myself to eat 2 desserts per day, or sleep 9 hours a day."

What. That's a problem?

..... ... I'm stuck on the two desserts challenge. Let's do that one.

Well, this makes me laugh every time I think about it, just like Amy's Chocolates of Delight make me smile and send a joyful prayer in Amy's direction every time I think about them.

So I sort of want to do it. Okay, Stephanie : )? Anyone else in?

I know you were joking, but joking isn't the opposite of serious, as Chesterton says.

Does it contradict my January Challenge? Perhaps it corrects it a bit. Stephanie and Lissla seem to have been challenging my challenges a bit in the combox.

In the same line of thought, I think one thing I like about the folks at Lean But Not Mean! is their joyful energy in their health quest. It's not primarily about restriction or loss or shame but about gain -- gains in energy, in joy, in strength.

My daughter once blogged about how exercise should be enjoyable, and quoted GK Chesterton:

A man ought to eat because he has a good appetite to satisfy,and emphatically not because he has a body to sustain. A man ought to take exercise not because he is too fat, but because he loves foils or horses or high mountains, and loves them for their own sake. And a man ought to marry because he has fallen in love, and emphatically not because the world requires to be populated.

I'm trying to bring a thought out here, but not entirely succeeding. Can anyone help?

Or maybe it's like trying to explain a joke and if it has to be said, it can't be.

There is beauty in dancing and desserts and high mountains and afternoon naps. St. Ignatius says they are all good. Giving some of them an extra plus value and some of them a minus value does a disservice to them in themselves. It's a sort of exploitation like the kind that Chesterton describes.

That's about all I can come up with now, and maybe that's just as well, but Clare is making my Daily Two Dessert task easier right now by making Nestle's Toll House cookies in between changing the strings on her guitar.

Aidan is next to me playing with his dollar store tops (hmm, I wonder if I had better go stock up); Sean is due home any time; Paddy is playing Harry Potter on the XBox360. Kieron just showed up and is donning the Ryan's Room play tunnel for some reason. I was planning to write out some lesson notes but haven't got very far.


Stephanie said...

You know what, Willa? I say, if a Christian in THIS land, in THIS era, with THESE opportunities and blessings raining down all the time, cannot be happy - really blissfully amazingly happy - to just accept blessings and say thank you ... well, honestly! What DO we want?

If my earthly father freely gave us the money to finish our house - just poof! made a gift of about a half a million dollars or something - and then there I sat, in the house of my dreams, would my next move be to complain about maintenance? Worry about overindulging in enjoyment? Or ... would it show proper gratitude to do maintenance with joy - and put out fresh flowers with joy - and just sit in it and breathe - with joy! Life as we know it IS "two desserts a day."

Not that I'd turn down two actual desserts a day, and not that I don't already eat that far more often than is good for me. But the answer to that is to do more of what's good for me and remember how to enjoy health.

lissla lissar said...

I was thinking last week that the thing that really irritates me about people who try to be abstemious at Christmas (or on other feast days), and talk about the sinfulness or overindulgence of the food, and refuse dessert, or gravy, or whatever, is that it misunderstands the joy of feasting AND fasting- sometimes one's appropriate, and sometimes the other, and we ought to go at both with gusto, instead of trying for a moderate restraint all the time.

I have this very boring hobbyhorse/soapbox rant about the worship of health, treatment of food as though it's nothing but medicine, and total lack of joy in any of it...

Oh, and the easiest English sponge cake- cream a cup of butter and a cup of sugar together until they're fluffy. Beat in four eggs. Gently add two cups of flour and two teaspoons baking powder. Spread in a round cake pan, bake at 350F for about twenty-five, thirty minutes.

lissla lissar said...

Very good with fruit, lemon curd, or jam. Or just about anything. :) It's the cake I make when demanding guy friends come over, and say hopefully, "Cake?"

Anonymous said...

This is an intriguing post, and the comments are just as interesting. There is a lot of food for thought here (no pun intended).

Amy said...

I'm glad you keep mentioning the chocolates of delight (and thank you particularly for the prayers!!) because I keep forgetting how important that whole conversation was. I'm in great need of delight lately!

I don't think I'd find two desserts a day a challenge. How 'bout three?

lissla lissar said...

Yes. Step it up to three!

Willa said...

LOL! Thank you all!

Stephanie, I think you might be talking about gratitude. Yes? and not over-complicating things which are not complicated in themselves.

Isn't it sad that many times one's first reaction to a great blessing is to grump about some little inconvenience associated with it? Sigh.

Very interesting.

Lissla, I will try that cake. We have demanding/hopeful guys already installed in this house.

Amy, you could probably use three desserts!

Stephanie said...

Yes. Gratitude. I just think it's crummy to take the gifts of Love Himself, and then fuss over them like some kind of fretful spoiled rotten lady of the house who doesn't know if that priceless vase "goes" with her carefully matched suite of furniture. --- Or being presented with a banquet of exquisite foods and then saying "oh, no - I couldn't." --- It's just not that complicated to "come as a child," laugh when things delight, cry when there is pain, fast for the good of your self-control and feast for the celebration of bountiful Love. It's just not that complicated!

Besides -- what exactly ARE we saying to God when He blesses us and we don't want to be happy all the way down to our toes about that particular blessing?

We enjoy being heroes in our own minds, and we're not too bad at the honest virtue of being patient in bad times (Catholic homeschooling moms in particular are very good at this skill, if you ask me). But what does it profit us if we cannot also be joyful when it's time to have joy?

I would even venture to say that one thing in my mother that turned me off to her whole way of seeing the world and made me write her off when I was a teen was that she was so danged earnest about everything. Not EVERYthing can be so serious! Not EVERYthing can matter at the same level. Sometimes it's just good to have whipped cream on top, and even eat the cherry first!

Laura A said...

Ah, Chesterton *would* know, wouldn't he? ;-)