The word that has become the theme for Lent is mindfulness. Duh. Lent is all about sacrifice, about being uberconscious of what we have because of what we don't have.
I began thinking about what I'm unconscious of, or what I am "mindless" of. Not to play the consumer trump card, but there's a root of consumerism at the heart of much of my mindless habits. They include, but are not limited to, food and purchases.
I started with food; that seems to be one of the most common things given up at Lent- chocolate, desserts, dairy, the list goes on. Also, I still have 10 baby weight pounds that I would really like to lose. So, to avoid creating what is essentially a Lenten diet (which somehow detracts from the more meditative mood of Lent), I thought that my Lenten focus would be on eating only foods that have ingredients that I could visualize. In other words, if I couldn't easily and clearly picture everything thing in the food, I couldn't eat it. My first thought was that my Lean Cuisine microwaveable lunch would be gone -- and my schedule just doesn't allow for making lunch when I go to work.
So, I thought of the next mindlessness habit- using the debit card. I'm amazed at how much money I can blow through with the debit: Twenty bucks here (grocery store), fifty bucks there (Target). So, after talking with Ed, we've decided to go CASH only, other than paying bills online and with checks. We use Amazon fresh for our groceries, but we're aware of what we spend there.
Each week during Lent, we're going to look at our budget, what we need to purchase during the week (gas, haircuts, diapers, oil changes, etc.) and get the cash out. The convenience of the debit will be gone, forcing us to count our cash and budget within it.
This should be interesting....