Back when I was a 20-something spring chicken, I made it a goal to run a marathon. It actually took me about 2-3 training attempts to complete one, but when I did I think it was because I announced it. Publicly declaring my goal, and fundraising for it simultaneously, made me finish what I started since I didn’t want to both disappoint anyone who donated nor be embarrassed by not going through with it.
So, when I decided to finally get off my self-entitled, consumerist high horse, get rid of my debt, and increase my net worth, I publicly declared it. To B, my loved ones, and of course on this here blog. This blog and its readers have given me tremendous support and motivation, that I honestly attribute my chunks of debt repayment because of it. B is also very supportive – whenever a fleeting frivolity catches my eye, he
kindly reminds commands that I’m “on a budget!”, so much so that it’s now a running joke around the house. So when he saw that I put a modest amount in the church offerings for Easter and called me out on it, I kindly snarkily reminded him that “I’m on a budget.”
However, when I try to explain to friends and family, I’m at times met with resistance. Whenever I declare that I’m on a year long shopping abstinence or that I’m getting rid of stuff to achieve a more minimalist environment, I’ve been met with the following responses:
Mom: “Why?? You have you treat yourself sometimes, you deserve it!”
Friends: “But you deserve massages sometimes, they’re so relaxing and you work so hard!” or “But why??”
Coworkers: (laughter) “We’ll see after the first month!” or “Well, how about just buy one thing every three months or something, you might not last through the year!”
I suppose these reactions are two-fold – one, as much as I thought I wasn’t too bad in my spending, that I must have been a big consumer to elicit such responses. And two, that perhaps the majority of people are
Borgs consumption-obsessed, and might not understand why I’m doing this. While I know that my loved ones just have the best intentions and don’t mean any harm by their comments, I do find their reactions odd since it seems like a positive thing to shoot for. I mean, it’s one silly year out of (hopefully) many – so I’m going to resist Borg assimilation the consumerist noise and carry on.
I’m wondering if anyone else has been met with resistance, or maybe looked at weirdly, whenever they declare something PF-related that might not be the norm. And if so, how do you respond?
P.S. Despite the references that would prove otherwise, I’m definitely on Team Star Wars.
P.P.S. And just in case the more youthful folks don’t know what a Borg is (cough GMD cough), here’s the reference. Get it? Because Borgs are famous for saying “Resistance is futile” and that’s the title – clever, eh? Or… not.