While busily working away this week at my new job, I received a stomach-churning text from Heather; although the usual topics did not apply (kids were fine, dog was fine, house was fine, etc.). What was not fine was the fact that I was sitting in my desk chair instead of sitting with Coach Laura & Heather at the Summit Rimrock branch for our 2:30 pm monthly meeting. As you can see through the magic of Find My iPhone, Heather determined exactly where I was (I was alerted by a depth-charge sounding beep from my side pocket as well).
Throughout Project Money, this scenario had been one that I knew would eventually occur (me and iPhone calendars are not exactly on the same wavelength). It’s not that I don’t trust the ladies to have a meaningful conversation about our monthly activities & spending, but rather I knew I’d slipped up and would not be there in time to defend myself. After 8 minutes of barreling around the belt line, I arrived to find them in great spirits & smiles. I knew they were already on to me. ..
“So, how was your Arby’s the other day?” Well it was producing heartburn at that exact moment, but forty-eight hours earlier it was delicious! Instead of falling on the roast beef skewer and taking the blame, I instead deflected to yet another Duncan that wasn’t around to defend herself…“well Hadley really loves Arby’s, so I thought I’d stop and get her a treat for dinner.”
After all these months of coaching, restrictions and self-awareness of triggers, I cheated. Now I didn’t order enough Arby’s to feed an army, but I did get sandwiches for both of us (double meat of course), an order of the best curly fries on the planet, and an ice cold Diet Pepsi for my long (eight minute) drive home. Altogether it came to about $13, but that was more than enough to get me into the meat cellar.
What I now realize is, the problem was not with spending some money on fast food, but rather I took the first step towards a slippery slope, as my two meeting partners pointed out:
- Arby’s is right on my drive home from work, so it would be very easy to keep stopping there ‘every now and then’
- Justifying that it was OK for me to go there because we ‘still had money in our Dining Out account’ – which is one of my largest challenges (if the money is there, we should spend it)
- It’s ok to make a purchase like this, but I didn’t reach out to Heather to let her know I was thinking about it. She may have said Yes, or she may have said No, but the point is there was communication before action.
It is now guaranteed that for the foreseeable future, every time we drive past an Arby’s, I’ll get a side glance from Heather. However, there is a silver lining: I got extra Arby Sause, so next time we buy roast beef, I am going to craft my very own version and enjoy it almost just as much as the real thing.