For Lent this year, I gave up shopping for clothes.* Mr. M gave up eating out, so for the most part, I'm not doing that, either.
I didn't think that I shopped a lot (and compared to a lot of people, I truly don't), but I know that I do it when I need a boost. I think that a new skirt or shoes will make me seem more appealing somehow-- prettier, sweeter, more interesting, funnier, more thoughtful, more serious, less serious, more athletic, smarter, more competant-- you get the idea. I don't trust that people will see and love those things within me, and so I look for external ways to flag them.
There is nothing I can buy that will make me lovable. If you roll your eyes because I wear girly dresses, or grimace because I'm not stylish enough-- well, you probably wouldn't like me much, anyway. I'm not going to wear a burlap sack-- I still love soft fabrics and pretty colors (and Peacebang), but there is nothing I can wear that will make you think I'm beautiful. On the other hand, there's also nothing I can wear that will make you think I'm not. As evidence: while Mr. M loves my little black dress, he loves my gross sweaty gym clothes just as much. My favorite girlfriend knows I'm smart even when I sit around her apartment in a towel and a feather boa.
Yesterday, I realized that for the first time in I-can't-even-imagine-how-long, I wasn't at all worried about money. I felt totally comfortable with how much we have. It wasn't because we've been saving money by these Lenten practices (though in some ways that's true, it's also being spent on other things), but rather because I felt like we have what we need. We have plenty. There are things we don't have, and that's okay. We have enough money, and I have enough love.
*In the interest of full disclosure, there was a Champion closeout sale last week, and I bought a sports bra. That I needed. For $10. I think it's OK.
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