Slip Sliding Away

Walking toward the Boise river we happened upon a banana peel. There it was — large as life — on the sidewalk. I cracked up. Len cracked up. Not familiar with the myriad of banana-slippage cartoons we’d grown up with, Willa didn’t find any humor in the situation.


Periodically I apply self-imposed restrictions: No more red licorice. No more BBQ chips. Ever again. As sure as the sun rises, these types of constraints only last a few days before I slip up. Not a fan of confinement, when limitations are imposed by others (barring the speed limit — usually), they’re in place an even shorter length of time.

Do you ever apply self-imposed restrictions?


70 thoughts on “Slip Sliding Away

  1. I laughed at your banana peel laughing–not too long ago I saw a banana peel in the parking lot of the gym I go to. It was next to a car. All of those banana peel slipping images instantly went through my head, as well, and it seemed even funnier to me that it was outside of a gym.

    I sometimes do the constraints, but often it’s more like a rewards system–you can have a piece of chocolate after you get so much work done. I don’t always listen to myself though. 😉

  2. I’m actually pretty good at sticking with self imposed restraints when I can see the reason for them. It only takes one little slip on that old banana peel to remind me why I avoid certain foods, don’t hang out with negative people or allow certain emotions to take over. Now if I feel I’m being forced to do something without a reason that makes sense to me — it’s a whole different story.

  3. Laurie, my life is riddled with self-imposed restraints. A system of checks and balances to keep me and others in the “safe zone”. That fleeting desire to pass the police cruiser in front of my on the road. The wanting to buy that item that would wipe out my bank balance. To take off and go larking about on the Florida beaches while my work goes undone and piling up. I could go on and on…but I am going to restrain myself. Great post!

  4. Doesn’t everybody? For me it’s gluten, sugar, gossiping, negative thinking. I could go on and on. Eventually they all go by the wayside until I get control of myself again. The great thing is that we can start over with every new day!

  5. It seems like most of my life has been about imposing those restraints, failing to comply, and feeling frustrated about that. About 2-3 weeks ago (after breaking all self-imposed restraints for the thousandth time) suddenly felt this huge inner volcano arise which insisted that what is the most important thing is to follow my inner knowing. Much more important than any compulsive movement which usually arises as an unconscious contraction. I’ve been learning steadily in the past couple years how to be with the inner sensations of thoughts/feelings/sensations without running away into a compulsion, but it’s a moment-by-moment discipline/freedom, for sure! A spiritual friend once said that she reached the point where she would crawl on her knees to brush her teeth if her inner knowing prompted her. I also think it’s hugely important that when we slip on that banana peel, we treat ourselves oh-so-gently. It’s usually not “us” that is reaching for that cookie–it’s an unconscious contraction that hasn’t yet been totally loved by the light of awareness. Wow! Thanks for letting us all share our feelings about this, Laurie.

  6. Doesn’t this go along with being human Laurie…
    Some of us are better at it than others.
    And some of us work towards growing beyond the confinement of our ego and trust to let go and go with the flow.
    Ah … the journey to freedom 🙂

  7. Frequently, and it’s often the same restriction because I’m not very obedient. My “I want it” self views my restrictive self as unreasonable.

  8. The first thing that popped into my mind about self-imposed restriction was my recent Lenten sabbatical from FB, Twitter, and sugar. I actually enjoy temporarily restricting myself — when I can reflect, learn, and refocus as a result. When I slip up, I just think of it as a banana peel. Or at least I will now!

  9. I excel in self-imposed restrictions. Oh, I can’t do that, I tell myself, and then I draw from the list…
    I’m too shy
    it’s not a skill I possess
    someone else would do a much better job
    I’ll look silly
    others will judge me and find me lacking
    It’s taken too many years, but I’m finally learning how to build a new list
    I’ll give it a try and see how I do
    It looks like fun, so why not
    my friend needs help and I have two strong hands

  10. I loved the idea of bursting out laughing just from the visual of the banana peel. I’d do it too That’s got to be a generational thing. Can’t imagine my kids or g’kids having the same reaction.

  11. There is a personal injury lawyer here in the city who uses a banana peel as a threat to employ his services. In my view, it’s placed too high on the ad to be effective; it just looks silly.

    I have two self-imposed restrictions: I don’t want to lose my mind or my waistline before I die. At the moment, I seem to be having more success with one than with the other.

  12. There is something wildly amusing about a banana skin just lieing there . My self-imposed restriction it reading three books at the same time ( well one chapter at a time ) You see there is no way I am going to grow another two heads …so I give in every time . It helps me get through through my great list .

  13. As someone with a history of prior addictive behavior (drugs, alcohol) the list of restrictions is like a line gouged into concrete; a bit jagged and ugly, but totally necessary. Barring those sort of restrictions, these days I’m attempting to banish negative thoughts and actions (by replacing them with gratitude or laughter, both good substitutes). And then, of course, there’s the usual restrictions that get trampled over and over again, like ice cream and soda. I make up my mind to NEVER AGAIN, until, of course, the next time. 🙂

  14. I just slipped up – should have read this earlier! I am on clear liquids before a procedure tomorrow – I just ate a yellow M&M I was hoping it would cure the headache – Ya! right…..

    • Melissa — You’re in good company as sugar is a “biggie” for many folks. I, on the other hand, can eat an entire (family size) bag of BBQ chips in less than ten minutes. Those carbs, turn to glucose (sugar) and make a beeline straight for my butt cheeks! 🙂

  15. Plenty of self imposed restrictions – diet, lifestyle, behaviour – you name it.

    And the restrictions need to serve a purpose I consider a worthy one.

    In general terms, I am not a fan of restrictions – particularly those imposed by culture, state, or legal systems.

    I am a great fan of Douglas Bader’s saying (and I suspect it is much older than him) – Laws are made for the obeyance by fools and the guidance of wise men.

    And I am far from perfect. I make mistakes. And it is over 4 years since I missed my twice daily dose of vitamin C, or consciously ate any animal product (though I suspect that some of the so called vegan things I have been sold did in fact contain dairy products – from the way my body reacted to them.

    And I am careful where I put my banana peels, and careful to keep bathroom and kitchen floors dry (due to accident risk).

  16. Yes. A fair amount to do with diet, although some I’ve kept for so long that I don’t think I’d like some of them. But I liked the suggestion of the social media.

  17. Self imposed restrictions are wasted on me Laurie. I am much better off focusing on what I want to start doing rather than what I “should” stop doing. Setting intentions and then revisiting them seem to have the most long-term life altering results. But a short-term restriction to avoid an immediate consequences I can do. Like closing my eyes to keep the shampoo out. Or wearing shoes in the snow. Or fasting before a lab test. Other than that… not so much.

  18. Where do I even start on self restrictions:) Most of them are for the best (like this whole no sugar thing that I try to do) and if I “slip”, I typically do it fully conscious of my decision to do so, so there is not so much judgement on myself. Even if there wasn’t the intention I realize that every moment is a new moment to start a new.

  19. Don’t we all? I have imposed a limit on movies I watch on trans Atlantic flights to two so I can (try) to get some sleep 🙂 But more seriously, a low carb lifestyle has been a good self imposed one, serves me well.

  20. Ha, love that banana-peel lead in Laurie!! Well, as of late to handle my on-again, off-again battle with gastritis, I have stayed clear of caffeine coffee and tomato sauce, two on going culprits in this issue. While I was indulging -especially with the latter- I suffered through the symptoms, but when I stopped, everything returned to normal. While one has Type 2 (a family disease-my father will be 85 this year and has had it 30 years) and in my case am nursing a now confirmed torn miniscus, I must be sure to imposed restrictions, and then some!!

    • Sam — yes, Yes, YES to imposed limitations as they relate to preventing you from getting Type 2 diabetes and further damaging your meniscus. I’m all for those type of restrictions 🙂

  21. Slip sliding away…root–give me a root, I need something to hold onto–or a branch, let me grasp the branch–I know I will be safe. I need the plant world. That is where the magic balm resides–that is where I can be recharged, refreshed, stabilized, centered–solve the ache for beauty. Thank you for your inspiration.

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