Every now and then something comes along that kicks you between the eyes, knocks you down and leaves you sputtering. I've been reading a book called, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, and it's moved me in big ways; especially layered on top of my break from spending. The first day of which, we ended up going out to eat for a friend's birthday. Before I left the house, I found myself rehearsing what people might say to me about not eating and how I'd reply. I caught myself mid-thought when it dawned on me--oh my gosh, I'm making this about ME. I'm toting it like a Coach bag. How does me-not-getting-to-eat-out for ONE MEAL, merit a speech? It's a step, a nod, a wink perhaps in a good direction, but not if my motive is to gain approval and accolades. Why am I doing this?
Enter book 7; hauntingly poignant and telling:"While the richest people on earth pray to get richer, the rest of the world begs for intervention with their faces pressed to the window, watching us drink our coffee, unruffled by their suffering." Ouch. I sat laughing and weeping through this book. How did I never make the connection that my spending directly hampered giving to those in need? Glaringly, there stood my why.
When did I start assuming I had a right to excess? So, back to not spending...
I'm going to be completely honest, it's been hard. The first day alone, I kept thinking, "I wanna get..." "Need to pick up some..." "Wonder if the kid's would like..." I think I counted ten times that I almost whipped into a store to buy a bag of excess. Don't worry, I stopped myself. But for someone who thinks themselves frugal, it was startling to realize how often I reach for my wallet. Startling and humbling. I can already tell this spending break is going to reveal a bunch.