Let’s start by laying out a scenario that I find repeats itself at our house a lot.
If I cook dinner my girlfriend can’t stop talking about how yummy it is (humble brag!) while I sit there thinking that it’s decent but not great. This happens almost every time I cook.
Yet the same thing happens the other way around. When she cooks I sit there thinking about how the food tastes amazing while she thinks it is just okay. She could have added this or that or maybe it needs more salt.
My new theory? We both make meals that taste roughly as good as each other’s. The only difference is in the perception of how it should taste based on if we made it ourselves or not.
In other words, I made it so I don’t think it’s that good. And the same goes for her when she cooks. We have to make something really amazing to wow our own taste buds. Which means we aren’t noticing just how good the food we made really tastes.
When I really got excited today was when I realized this could be applied to other aspects of life. I look at my partner and I see that she is strong, smart, and beautiful. I also see things like her very clear purpose in life. I see all the subtle complexities that make up her person and her life. Just like when I eat her dinners I am noticing all the subtle complexities of the flavour.
And then I am not noticing them about myself. When she tells me I am handsome I reflexively think about how that just simply can’t be true. When she highlights reasons that I might feel purposeful or fulfilled I often hand’t thought about those reasons or hadn’t noticed the way they make me feel.
I simply don’t notice my own complexities.
I just came up with this theory today so I don’t yet have an idea of what I can do about it. Hopefully simply being aware that I might be missing areas in my life that are really meaningful and fulfilling will help me be more willing to notice them in the future.
The other thing I am going to try to do is really notice my cooking. Since this theory started with food maybe it can end with food? (As a side note since I do think food will ultimately be the end for me personally I often think when I am truly ready to go i will simply eat Big Macs until I drift off into the afterlife. What a way to go!) If I force myself to really taste my own cooking and enjoy it as much as my girlfriend, and vice versa, then maybe I will prime myself to be more aware of the good things I am doing in other areas of my life.