Slip Up? No Worries.

by Katy on August 21, 2008 · 3 comments



It’s easy to make declarative statements.

“I am only going to eat small amounts of healthy, locally grown food from now on.”

Or, “I will get up with the sun to practice two hours of yoga each and every morning.”

Or, “I will never buy anything new again!”

Or, “I will stop eating out.”

Is it realistic to think that life is can be this black and white?

Of course not.

And whenever I’ve tried to be this strict with myself, it’s been a setup for failure.

We’re all human beings with complicated lives and priorities beyond our ideals. 

I took my sons and two of their friends swimming the other day. We already have a summer pass, so there was going to be no money spent. (My favorite kind of outing!)

The plan had been to drive them home afterwards, but I realized that I was starving. And if I, who had sat poolside was hungry, I knew the boys must be ravenous. I didn’t want to bring the guest boys home hungry, (that’s just tacky) so I brought everyone to a locally owned artisan pizza joint not too far from the pool.

Did I say, “what the heck? I’m suddenly spending all this money on restaurant food, I might as well go the whole hog?”

No. We each got a sizable slice of cheese pizza, and a nice glass of water to drink.

This got me thinking. When I have tried to watch my weight, I’m always very good until I’m presented with donuts (or something similar) and my happy to rationalize mindset goes a little something like this. “I’ve already eaten something I shouldn’t, I might as well forget even trying to eat well for the rest of today.” And then I start on a donut-fest. 

I think many people feel that living a life of frugality is an all or nothing deal. You’re either virtuous or weak-willed. Really, a slip-up here and there is a normal part of life as a normal person. It doesn’t mean that all is lost and you might as well give up.

It’s okay to treat yourself here and there. But it doesn’t mean you should give up a life of frugality.

So don’t despair, fellow Non-Consumers. You will slip up, but that’s okay.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda August 22, 2008 at 10:48 am

Like you said, life isn’t black & white….it would be pretty boring if it was wouldn’t it? I think we should try to strive for moderation. Instead of denying ourselves a donut, how about indulging in 1/2 a donut & enjoying each & every bite instead of feeling guilty? The guilt is what brings on the “oh well, I might as well go whole hog” mentality. I know it’s easier said than done…’s hard to stop at 1/2 a donut, but I think moderation is the key to success & is what I’m trying to work towards.


Kristen August 24, 2008 at 12:24 pm

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. For instance, when I wasted those beans early in the week last week, I almost just felt like giving up on the no-food-waste thing for the rest of the week. Like Jonathan quoted(I think it was Voltaire?), the perfect is the enemy of the good. Just because I wasted some beans doesn’t mean that all the rest of my no-waste efforts are for naught, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I should give up.


Mark August 28, 2008 at 2:20 pm

“It’s okay to treat yourself here and there. But it doesn’t mean you should give up a life of frugality.”

Or, as I like to say “Moderation in Moderation”.


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