Do you prefer to binge or savour?
At Christmas and on my birthday, I binge Twizzlers. Yes, Twizzlers. A huge part of the pleasure (for me) is to eat Twizzlers in large quantities. I feel minimal guilt – I eat very little candy the rest of the year – but that one package is consumed (almost exclusively by me) in about 24 hours. One piece of licorice is never enough. Yet, were I given an entire bowl of jelly beans, I could easily eat just one.
I binged Waco, but only allow myself one episode of The Great British Baking Show at a time. I’ve binged books in one night (regretting the decision early the next morning; though, for the right book, it’s totally worth it). When I recently re-read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, I limited reading bouts to a single chapter at a time.
A few years ago I spent a glorious anniversary trip in Paris with my husband. There we binged on: art galleries, long walks, colourful storefronts, and fresh baguettes. We savoured: a van Gogh exhibit, our walk down the Champs de Elysses, a delectable eclair, filled with silky smooth crème pâtissière. One evening we spent several unhurried hours sitting in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, watching the sunlight fade and surrounded by thousands of tourists and Parisians, the air filled with the scent of summer air and the cheerful sounds of music and laughter. Binge and savour.
My immediate family all have poor eyesight (except my Dad, who we joke got all the “good” genes…and now my two siblings who had corrective laser surgery); each year at Christmas my Mom would carve out time to sit in front of the Christmas tree, take off her glasses and glide in her rocking chair while the twinkling lights blurred to create a magical world reserved for the nearsighted. After binging on Christmas treats, concerts, presents, and family, this was an experience to savour.
Sometimes, the same experience can induce both binging and savouring. When we make our annual summer trip to my parent’s home at the lake, I binge s’mores but savour the campfire we toast them over. I binge sunsets, looking for them every single night, but then I sit on the beach and savour them.
By default, I tend toward bingeing – books, food, sitcoms, activities. Sometimes I need to be reminded that learning to savour is a valuable skill. Slowing down to better appreciate: the moment, the person, the art, the food, can lend a whole new experience.
As Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, so wisely pointed out: there is a time for everything under the sun. There are times to binge and times to savour. Maybe, if you’re lucky and have eyes tuned for it, you can find opportunities to binge-savour your own “sunset” moments this summer.