One year, not many moons ago, I decided to challenge myself for lent. I mean, really choose something that was a sacrifice and would be non-trivial to follow through on. I chose to forgo shopping for myself whether in stores or online. No little treats, no clothing, no books. I would also donate a weekly amount of money to represent my non-shopping savings to charity.
I remember announcing this to the family when they asked what I was doing. My daughter’s eyes grew really big, and she gasped, “NO SHOPPING? HOW WILL WE EAT?” I soothed her upset by explaining that it did not mean I would not do the grocery shopping, just that I would not be treating myself to the unnecessary items that seemed to find their way into my basket. Like those little irresistible nail polishes you find on the endcaps.
I was successful. The last two weeks were rough. And the hardest item to eliminate purchases of was books. I spent a lot of time in the library checking things out. Too bad that habit didn’t stick for long. I love them too much not to own them.
This year, I am trying to similarly challenge myself. I am toying with the idea of forgoing eating out in restaurants, but that might be a tad too rough, as it puts a damper on the occasional meet-up with friends I don’t regularly see.