On Saturday, when I told the ladies in my book group that I was giving up coffee, six loud voices retorted, “WHY?”
Why give up the nectar of the gods?
“Just switch to an Americano,” one said while another quickly spoke over her and said “Yeah, I had to break up with my white mochas too.”
Because at the end of December, when I was still in the holiday festivities and drinking eggnog lattes, my pants got tighter and I’m trying to cut back. That’s why. Sure I could run, but that’s more torturous than no coffee.
Because tea, as you now know, is supposed to be my new thing.
Except when, ugh, it’s not.
I’m ten days in and English Breakfast Tea with honey and milk is NOT AS GOOD AS A VANILLA LATTE. I’m a little tense. The caffeine headaches are real. I’ve got 21 days to go until I might just say… will probably say… screw this and invite my favorite beans back into my life.
Trying to hold yourself to new standards is a beautiful thing. Except when those standards drive you crazy and instead turn into punishment.
This week we got a rather large dental bill. Dylan calls me Smaug, like from the Lord of the Rings books, because I prefer to watch my savings account slowly increase rather than spend on myself or use those resources to meet my needs. So when I saw the amount due, my stomach dropped and I began to get tense.
No coffee + large expense = tense
“Have gratitude that you have the resources to pay the bill,” my mother said as I griped to her about the cost of adulthood. Ah, she is so wise.
So I started chanting in my head – I’m grateful we have the resources to take care of ourselves and our bodies – and slowly the stomach ache fear that comes with big bills began to dissipate.
I believe that saving money is a beautiful thing. Except when it’s not. When my obsession turns into stomach aches I have to remind myself to let resources flow. Turn over the money and say there will be more opportunities for funds and abundance to come our way.
And tonight, when we went out with Dylan’s new friends I tried really hard not to watch the clock as the minutes passed and the time spent away from the dog ticked by. Knowing Olive’s past track record with us being gone for long periods of time has led to destruction and mess. I sat over beers and had visions of our only good couch left torn to shreds, or Olive laying in a pile of the remains of our kitchen rug as she looks up me saying, “Well where the hell have you been?” I drove home quickly, even saying aloud, “Just a few more minutes Olive.” I opened the door expecting disaster and took a deep breath.
Nothing. No mess. All our furniture intact and a dog, very ready to go outside, smiling at me as if to say sure I make messes “Except when I don’t.”
So this week there is beauty in setting goals and freedom in saying maybe not. Beauty in having principles and penny pinching and grace for understanding that discipline led to provision. Beauty found in being present rather than dwelling on the next pending disaster coming our way.
Beauty in remembering I get to live on the swing of life’s situations presented to me, swaying between yes, no, and except when with smiles on my face.