Feast or Famine



I generally eat too much when I am celebrating. I don’t think I am the only one. My very favorite moment from the sitcom Friends is when Joey steals Pheobe’s maternity pants and declares them his Thanksgiving pants. That is a way of celebrating I understand. I mean, over-eating at holiday meals is as American as apple pie.

So I like the feast. So what?

I love feasting. I love celebrating. I love planning for a month, grocery shopping for a week, cooking all day, and lingering over the dinner table for hours. I love it. I love loving the people I love by cooking them the things they love. I love the feast.

But lately I have been taking a hard look at my eating habits, and found something kind of ugly amidst the love-filled feasting that is happening at my house for birthdays and holidays, and the very rare date nights out when I actually get to eat dinner with my husband.

I eat like I may never have the chance to do this again. I pile everything on my plate, I go back for seconds and thirds as though if I do not eat these foods they will never be available to me again. Never mind that I can go back to the restaurant. Never mind that I can eat leftovers in my own kitchen for days if I just leave them there. I eat as though the only choices I have are feast or famine.

Scarcity. Scarcity is the belief that there will not be enough, that there is never enough. Scarcity has been telling me that there aren’t enough feasts, that there are only so many chances and I better maximize every opportunity I have because it might not come again. Scarcity makes me fear that the only thing besides feast is famine. That I better get all I can get now when there is too much, because if I don’t take advatage now it won’t ever be there again.

Enough. I don’t believe in enough, and when I don’t believe in enough my mind tells me that the only way to get enough is to take it. To over-feast, to over-spend, to over-share, and over-tweet and overwhelm myself with jumping at every possible opportunity that is presented to me in every form ever. I am believing that the feast means that the famine is coming and there will not be enough later.

Scarcity makes the space between the feasts terrifying, but it also sort of ruins the feast. How do you enjoy the banquet when you are keeping track of what everyone else has on their plate so you KNOW you will get yours? How do you enjoy a third piece of pie if you actually physically hurt when you eat it? How do you really feast when you are just trying to get all you can?

You can’t.

Scarcity makes famines terrifying and feasts no fun. It steals the joy from everything and I am not having it anymore. I will not feast any longer on the belief that the good things will run out.

I have a God who promises enough, and enough pie, enough turkey, enough chances. Enough of everything makes the feast all that more enjoyable.


Image credit: kristin_a