On the way to the supermarket, my wife informs me that I am going on a diet.
To soften the blow, she volunteers to diet with me.
But at the store, we each go our separate ways. She to fill her cart with good things that she will never touch. I to fill mine with bad things that I fully intended to devour.
At the cash register, she asks, “Have you no self-discipline?”
She knows I do not.
On the other hand, I see nothing in her cart to inspire a diet.
She has bags of leafy substances, each bearing a strange name and an equally unappealing appearance. What she calls salad is really weeds that grow in abundance because nothing else will eat it – yet the stuff costs a fortune because only people who force themselves and their spouses to diet, will buy it.
She also has grains from exotic places where all the people are skinny – because they too refuse to chew the stuff.
And lastly she has piles of plastic pill bottles, chuck-full of powders, potions and promises.
It is all so uninspiring.
But that is just it, she is right, I have no discipline and never have had any.
Unlike my wife who can summon up the iron will to diet for a few weeks at a time, whenever I am challenged by temptation, I quickly apologize to temptation for having to go to all the trouble of challenging me.
In short, I like to get out ahead of temptation by indulging in whatever inspires me.
But she is right, I have put on too much weight over the winter and need to take it off. So on my walk, I talk this over with my dog, Scooter, who pulls on his leash and pants in the heat of the day.
I tell him that rather than nagging what I require is inspiration.
But dogs do not understand such things.
Or maybe they do.
At the intersection of two gravel roads, where we usually turn left, Scooter pulls hard to the right – and drags me onto the route that takes the long, long, way home.
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