When pondering this question, I believe a truer, more telling question surfaced. Instead of, to cheat or not to cheat, the question should be, what IS cheating?
As I have set some challenges for myself this January, to use up food in the pantry and freezer, new challenges surface. Another boundary I’ve set is to avoid shopping unless it is absolutely necessary, with the exception of fresh produce and a few other items to keep my family healthy. If you want, you can see the rhyme and reason in my January 1st post.
This leads me to a few items like avocados and peaches. And hats and coats to name a few more. It is the 13th day of January and I believe I have “cheated” once. Here are some of the head games. I have a coat that is wearing out. I have plenty of other coats, but this one is the most practical and most used. Being January and coat sales and all, I thought about looking up the brand name online and checking for sales. Nope. I remembered NO shopping. Then, my hat that I wear to walk has lost its elastic. I thought I might mention to my friend who is out shopping a lot, to keep her eye out for a replacement. It was just a split second of a thought…a temptation.
Then there was the great soup that I bought in December that was on sale and I was tempted to get some more while this really great sale was on–nope. Fast forward to a few days ago, my husband said that avocados were on sale and I was sort of onboard with purchasing them. They’re fresh, right? And, I mentioned that we would need cilantro and tomatoes too. I said, “I really shouldn’t be doing this because of MJR. But, since you are doing the shopping, maybe it is ok?” To which he said, “It’s up to you.” Then I said, “Let’s not.” The conviction had already set in. As yummy as the guacamole would have been, it was not a need. It was a want. A narrow escape. But, I did get caught. I purchased a glass jar of peaches with vanilla before New Years as a treat. They were a special buy and would not be around long. Anna and I loved them. And I wanted more. While he was shopping, I had my husband pick up one jar. It might sit in the pantry until February. And, I do feel a bit guilty. Why did I crack with the peaches over the other stuff? I had enough time to change my mind. It probably was the thought of not being able to get them later. I’ve not seen them before and it was a new indulgence with the vanilla bean in there with those pretty peaches in the glass jar. I got the peaches, then I got the guilt.
This is the week that we will probably eat out. My goal is to not eat out or purchase coffee out, etc for the entire month, but we gave our daughter a gift certificate for a family night out. We told her that it was January, so no eating out as a family, except for once, for her Christmas gift. This to me is not cheating, but an up-front exception to my boundaries. And, I received a gift certificate to my favorite coffee house, that’s right across the street from my studio, so I can get coffee and not “spend”. I think this one is more gray. It isn’t cheating by purchasing, but it is going out. To date, I haven’t, but am giving myself permission if I want. So far, I’ve made my coffee and taken it with me.
I’ve avoided playing Candy Crust, looking at the free apps (appsgonefree “dings” me daily and beckons me to look at the “free for today” cool apps available), and reading of sales flyers and email that is non-essential. I’ve dodged many bullets in this “resting from” process, but it has stirred up the battle and temptation. It’s good to tell ourselves no sometimes. We tell our children no, but often we don’t discipline ourselves. You would be surprised how sweet an over-ripe grapefruit taste and how welcome it is, when you won’t let yourself have cholate. If only I were as disciplined all of the time and in every area. One day at a time and one choice at a time.
Tonight, I chose to share that I cheated. Cheating is crossing a line that is drawn as a promise to myself or another. I’m glad it is only peaches, but for me, it is an integrity issue and that is more important. I don’t feel guilty anymore. I’ve been forgiven for much greater offenses. I live forgiven. Grateful for when I make good choices and glad I am forgiven when I cheat.