A few years ago I read Gretchen Rubin’s bestselling book, The Happiness Project. I took away many *things* from that book, namely:

  • Happiness is what you make it.
  • Instant gratification can cause long term unhappiness. (I talked about it here before.)
  • The notion of of whether you’re an abstainer or a moderator.
Abstainer versus Moderator | Just.Be.Enough.

In a nutshell, does your life go better if you abstain completely from those things you shouldn’t, or can you live by the old adage “everything in moderation?”

Without question, I’m an abstainer.

Abstainer versus Moderator | Just.Be.Enough.

Photo Credit: Globalism Pictures

As soon as I try to do my *thing* in moderation, the moderation becomes the norm. Then the norm becomes the rule. Then I find I’ve been *treating* myself to anything and everything under the sun for a month or more and I didn’t even see it coming. Or eating that whole tray of goodies in one afternoon.

Then I go back to abstention again for awhile, get where I need to be, and start the moderation game again.

Surely I’m not the only one who cycles through life like this, am I? 

According to the research Gretchen did for her book, everyone generally falls into one camp or the other. So today I propose the question to you:

Are you an abstainer or a moderator? Do you wish you were one or the other?

I think I’m starting to be OK with my cycles of abstention and moderation. Either that, or I’m starting to be OK with MYSELF. I like to spend a month certain times of year eating, drinking and being VERY MERRY. Because that’s fun. And it makes me feel happy while I’m doing it.

If I didn’t allow myself certain times of year to go off the moderation train, I think I’d be a less happy person.

Eating well, being healthy, and drinking little, if at all, certainly does make me feel physically and emotionally good. No question about it.

But sometimes being a little bad? Really does feel oh-so-good.

Abstainer versus Moderator | Just.Be.Enough.

Photo Credit: Nomadic Lass



About Missy

Missy Bedell blogs at Literal Mom where she encourages all parents to be thinking parents. She uses wit, humor and sometimes even tears to share her message. But above all that, there is hope, for our next generation. You can also find her on Twitter at @LiteralMom.

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