Today I pulled a container full of mystery soup from the freezer to eat for lunch. The entire block of soup was covered with ancient ice crystals, preserved since who-even-knows-when. After some partially unjacketed kidney beans and soggy hominy emerged from the half-thawed mass I was able to identify taco soup.
I poured the half frozen contents into a pot and let it warm on the stove. While that was going I quickly pressed some corn tortillas with masa and water, toasting them until crispy brown on the outside.
The entire lunch which had its beginning as an unappetizing chunk of ice ended up being obscenely delicious.
All of this took place after a 30 minute battle of wills inside my head. Hunger and appetite urged me to damn it all, hop in the car and drive to Bill Miller’s BBQ to get some chicken strips. One of my goals this month has been to totally redeem myself from the disastrous budgetsplosion of last month. Generosity and addictive restaurant hopping left Oliver and I embarrassingly over-budget in certain non-essential categories of our budget.
I’m not an impulsvie person. Except if you’re counting impulse purchasing. Then I’m a very impulsive person. Besides an attack of Etsy last week I’ve done pretty well curbing impulse buys. Let’s not talk about how that one impulse buy amounted to nearly $30. Moving on.
Almost every month I create a budget and then we end up overspending in pleasure categories like restaurants and fun money. Then I have to rectify these money mistakes by shamefully pulling funds from other categories. We’ve been managing to not overspend our income, but we are not spending in the right way. We’ve been letting cravings rather than logic dictate the way our money is spent.
Today’s experience with denying myself a crispy chicken lunch reminded me that true freedom consists in being able to acknowledge strong desires but not to be conquered by them. It ended up being practice in the sorely needed virtue of temperance.