This year’s No Spend Month was actually fairly uneventful. I think knowing what to expect helped quite a bit.
One thing I expected is that I will still make exceptions to the ‘necessary’ category. What I noticed was the difference in what was exception worthy. Last year, it was meals with friends, and I was in a season when I really needed personal connections.
This time, it was new running shoes, which, in addition to helping my feet, are really a symbol of my recovering health after having babies. Plus, they’re purty.
I know I’ve talked about running a lot recently, but it’s just interesting how certain routines are exactly what you need at certain times. And running is one of those for me right now.
Another thing I expected was to feel a little crabby at times about this self-imposed experiment. And sure enough, I did. Because there were things I wanted to buy or pay money to do and we said no. Plain and simple.
Shockingly, we are fine.
My one epiphany, if you can call it that, was recognizing how much shopping gives me a sense of control. It’s something to do, to put on a list and then check off. It’s a way to decide what I want and have it. I can fool myself into feeling productive and in charge just by charging it. Whatever ‘it’ is.
Right now, in ways big and small, I am trying to let go. Of some fears, of my pride, of ways I’ve been hurt in the past. And this month, I had to let go of this little habit that I cling to, which just exposed the bigger and more important things I try to cling to and control.
Richard Foster writes, “More than any other Discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us.” No Spend Month is just a version of a fast, and like its food based counterpart, you feel it in your gut.