One form of post here will be Observations on daily life, considering some little thing that has happened and how I reacted to it, and then reflecting on how well– either intentionally or accidentally– I applied Epicurean principles.
Today, I found myself taking my lunch fairly late in the afternoon, after a busy morning at work. As hungry as I was, I decided to enjoy a burger from one of those natural-and-local fast food places. I’m partial to a turkey burger with cheddar, sauteed jalapenos, and carmelized onions.
Yeah, I know. Great.
Unfortunately, when I got it back to my desk, I discovered something unsettling. In place of the delicious sauteed jalapenos, I found a heaping portion of, basically, mold. Well, mushrooms.
Yeah, I know. Gross.
Since the place wasn’t far, I walked back to see what I could do about the situation. I explained that my order was wrong, and that I wasn’t mad, I just think mushrooms are gross. They were good about it, once they realized I wasn’t being snippy, and the fresh replacement burger even included a second side of fries.
Walking back to my desk, before I even dug in, I realized this was a perfect moment to think about how my actions and attitudes align with Epicurus’. Had I faltered, and made myself unhappier than I needed to, by worrying about not having what I wanted, rather than appreciating having what I needed?
To a degree, I clearly did. I had my disappointed moment, and even griped a little, because the sandwich in front of me was quite unlike the one I had imagined I was about to dig into. I wasn’t satisfied with what I had, I was imagining what I had lost.
On the other hand, it wasn’t the lack of a favorite ingredient that caused me to walk back. In the end, I’m afraid I just can’t stomach mushrooms. Barbs about what kingdom they belong in aside, there’s just something about them that stops me from thinking of them as food.
In the end, I think I did all right, but not great. I didn’t let my momentary disappointment get to me, and I acted calmly to restore myself to contentment. Had I only wanted something simple, perhaps a plain burger, then I wouldn’t have been as prone to disappointment.
The true measure is that, in the end, I wasn’t unhappy– I had lunch, I was glad to see the restaurant treated me well, I was amused to have some free french fries, and I had a chance for a little more time outside away from my desk.
Good enough for me. What do you think?