I’m single and childless. Among many other things, this also means my money is my own; I answer to no one. A sense of complete power and control over my life is the benefit. The liability is there’s no one to answer to about impulse purchases. There’s nothing stopping me from retail therapy. I almost indulged today.
I went into a department store and saw a pair of lovely sterling silver hoop earrings. They were thicker than most hoops, so they looked substantial and more expensive. Seems every woman should have both gold and silver hoops. They are wardrobe basics. But my silver hoops got damaged years ago. I’ve been missing them for a while. This pair was even on sale, but I still could not justify spending money on a non-necessity.
I hung around the jewelry section for a while, looked at cheaper options but didn’t love them, went back to my coveted hoops, held them up to my ears in the mirror, fantasized about how great I would feel wearing them….then I remembered from my retail days many moons ago, that shoplifters usually hang out just a little too long, pretend to read labels or try things on and they look quietly interested. No sooner had I thought this, when I heard an urgent call over the P.A. system: “Security to zone eight. Security to zone eight.” Was the jewelry department zone eight? Yikes. I thought it and it happened. Talk about instant manifestation.
I told myself I could buy the earrings as a celebratory milestone marker. Once I’ve lost thirty pounds, I will treat myself. It was hard to do that, because I’ve never denied myself an affordable bauble before. But making the choice and sticking to it felt like adulthood.
Once out of the department store, I had to make the choice to delay gratification once more; deliciousness filled the air. I was ravenous and there were foods of all kinds beckoning me. It would have been so, so, so, so easy – I mean really easy – to indulge in everything prohibited from my diet. I could smell the sizzle of steaks at the restaurant and dreamt of one with mounds of garlic mashed potatoes. The bakery had chocolate croissants wooing me with their smiles. It was all too tempting.
I realized that in the past, I would have taken each opportunity to enjoy tasty offerings. I told myself I already know how garlic potatoes and croissants taste. They wouldn’t be a new experience. There would only be temporary bliss followed by days of regret. I had to show myself the door and just go to the car and eat a tomato from my mother’s garden. And it worked. The hunger stopped. I survived and I stuck to the plan of no sugar and starch until Christmas.
This year’s Christmas cookies will be the sweetest yet – a well-deserved, much-delayed reward. I expect it’ll be very gratifying.