I realized in 2010 that I have a problem with equity rescuing. Those of us raised on parental mantras such as, “Waste not… want not,” or “If you don’t eat your dinner, I’ll send it to the poor children in Asia (Or Africa depending upon your parents’ geographical shaming preferences),” will relate to this post.
Here’s the concept. You invest time, energy, or money in something and keep it around because of your investment. It can be something substantial like a house, career, or car…or, as seemingly insignificant as salad ingredients, shirts, or shoes.
Even when whatever you put your money, energy, and heart into becomes unproductive, rotten, or useless, you can’t let go.
My mother raised me with the belief that healthy people eat “three square meals a day,” and dinners should always include salads (“Except when Daddy has to work. Then we can eat fun foods”).
So this parental brain message dictates my shopping habits. Yet, I throw away more salad ingredients in a month than I eat. I buy the lettuce and tomatoes and cucumbers and carrots etc… and then after an exhausting day at work, I don’t want to cut up all those vegetables or tear that lettuce for salads. So the vegetables rot, except for the ones I can quickly pop into my mouth. I keep them in the fridge until a pungent order wafts out when my husband opens the door,
“What’s that smell? There’s something rotten in there.”
He always smells the rotten food first. So why do I do this? If I wait until the food rots, then I don’t feel so guilty. I’m trying to preserve an “at home feeling” that I get when I’m a good and conscientious wife like my mom was (I say was because she doesn’t insist on daily salads anymore).
Here’s another example. I’ve got a membership to the gym that I seldom use because I’d rather walk around the block in silence then listen to loud music and bump into people. Will I get rid of it? Heck no! I bought it so long ago that it’s only $8 a month and I’ll never get that price again if I ever wanted to go back (Rome wasn’t built in a day).
I keep shirts with holes in them because they are still my favorites and rationalize, These will be great gardening or painting shirts. Then I never wear them to garden or paint because I don’t want to get them dirty.
I walk around in shoes with buckled arches because I paid a hefty price for them five years ago.
What’s my point? I’m still trying to figure that out, but I think it has to do with equity rescuing.
So in 2011, I want to give myself permission to break from some of my unproductive investments and useless routines. Maybe I’ll eat raw vegetables I can buy already cut up in little bags instead of self-deluding myself that I’m going to make salads.
Perhaps I’ll look for some more enjoyable forms of exercise, like dancing, and get rid of the gym membership? Hold on JoDee…I’m not quite there yet with that one (Talking to myself again).
Today, I’ll throw out the holy shirts and crumbling shoes and go shopping. In fact, this post is proof I can change. I resisted my normal pattern of spending several hours editing pictures for a post. There’s hope!