Absolutes: not always a bad thingPosted: June 20, 2012
I’m horrible when it comes to diets. I tell myself “no cookies” and about a week later I’ll start craving a cookie. Notice that I say “a” as in one-one cookie is all that I want. But because I’m on the dreaded d-word, I’ll tell myself no. And I’ll be good for about a week or so. Then one day I crack and I’m scarfing down an entire batch of cookies. A lot more than that one single cookie I denied myself in the first place, right? And because I “failed” myself by eating the cookies, I stopped dieting.
Good for me. Why do I say that? Because I have discovered I hate diets. I hate the “you can’t have that because….” mentality. Now, I know it works for some people. And I did that with the whole “no soda” but I replaced my sweet drink craving with tea or juice. Because I found that it wasn’t the soda I wanted it was the sweet taste. Now what I do is limit myself. I may have this many calories a day and if that means I eat half of them by having a big piece of fudge pie, then so be it. I am still allowed to buy books off of my list even though I have a stack of unread books—the disclaimer being that it comes from my fun money of course.
However, absolutes in some areas of my life? They rock. I know that when I do my budget, I will be saving $50 a paycheck for medical expenses. Very rarely has this changed in amount—well, sometimes I was even able to increase the amount. So now when I look at my paycheck, I don’t see money that I can spend all over the place. Instead, I see “medical fund, bills, debt, savings, wedding fund, and so on”. These absolutes are a life saver. Before my life on budgets, I was a mess. I would spend entire paychecks on books. I’d tell myself it was okay because I was getting a discount. Um, no, no that’s not okay. Because a week after that, I would be getting bills due or rent or need gas or food or something.
Now, I allow myself that one cookie (personal money) and am perfectly content with it. I don’t need a stack of books that I haven’t read to make me feel satisfied. Instead, I look to the future and see what kind of life I will be having due to those absolutes. Do I wish I had started earlier? Of course but oh well—can’t change that now!