Emotional Eating

Welcome to spreadsheet-ville. Occasionally (much more frequently than I’d like, to be honest, but what can you do?), my job requires me to set up camp here and look at spreadsheets until well past the point I want to poke myself with sharp objects.

During this time, I can’t listen to regular music or books or podcasts, as I do most workdays, because they distract me from the detailed work I’m doing and slow me down. So I have to listen to instrumental music and get extremely nit-picky.

I totally have these things in my wheelhouse— I even like instrumental music, though I prefer to play it than to listen to it. Music is a lot about singing and dancing, for me, so music that I can’t sing or dance to is not in the same category, for me. Beautiful, but remote. I try to listen to Latin guitar music when I do this, because that’s at least rhythmic. Me bobbing along to a beat helps, but for now, what I’ve found it easy to access is classical music. I like classical music, I do. But it’s not really a treat for me.

This work requires an intensity of focus. There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of requirements, and a pretty strict deadline. I’m intense and deadline-oriented to begin with, but it’s not something that makes me more like-able. And I can totally do the nit-picky thing, but I’ve found from experience that it gets relationally toxic pretty quickly, so it’s something that I resist on principle. A few days of intense nit picking and I feel like I need a re-entry permit for my life.

This makes me want to eat chocolate, for reasons having nothing to do with hunger. Since I’m trying not to eat for reasons unconnected with hunger and I’m trying to limit myself to one reasonable candy-bowl visit per day, spreadsheet-ville is particularly unbearable today.

YouTube playlists of Ottmar Liebert and Rodrigo y Gabriela. This is the anti-chocolate answer. That, plus a walk at lunch. And stopping and remembering that “I want chocolate” is not an impulse I have to obey, like it or not.


2 thoughts on “Emotional Eating

  1. I have certain music that I save for those times when I really need to concentrate. I have a recording of the London Symphony Orchestra playing Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, which I absolutely love as background music. My other go-to music is a CD of Andrew’s concerts from school. Being a top music school, it sounds professional and the only distracting thing is when I realize that my kid is playing!

    Music definitely has an impact on what I’m doing and how well I do it so I’m always mindful of it.

    • Nice! I definitely have those pieces in my life. I needed to sing along to the Christmas parts of Handel’s “Messiah” before it could be Christmas in any sense of the word. Jim Croce and Supertramp are my Saturday morning cleaning music, because they’re upbeat and they move me along— when I get to the end of their albums, I’ve gone so much further than I thought I could. Classical music has to match the mood I’m going for— Chopin is good concentrating music, I love Bach, but I end up getting so swept up in it that I end up playing ferocious air organ. Beethoven makes me daydream, Mozart is energizing.

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