Today the emphasis from Michelle Singletary is giving. The challenge is that if you are given much of anything, some of that should be stewarded back to your community. This is an idea I am familiar with personally, religiously, and as a matter of justice. I said yesterday that one of my weaknesses is giving unnecessary gifts to friends. Planned giving is different. If I took the money I would have wantonly spent on friends' birthdays and other celebrations and channeled it in one direction it could make more of a difference.
Today started and ended with some of my weak spots. I planned ahead but I'm not sure if I can say I succeeded because instead of fasting, I freeloaded! Let me explain. I started my morning off with a meeting at a local coffee shop I frequent. I made my coffee at home and I also brought some home-juiced carrot and ginger juice to drink with my meeting. When I arrived at the shop my source was already there so I sat down with her and my regular barista asked if I wanted some water and I accepted. A few minutes later she brought me a delicious coffee beverage "on the house."
She knew about the fast.
First off, thanks barista-friend! I delighted in that hand-crafted-with-love coffee. It was delicious. But I felt a little guilty because I knew it was against the spirit of the fast. Later, in a caffeine-induced craze (I also packed a thermos of coffee for work) I thought about Michelle Singletary's emphasis of the day- that fasting allowed us to bless others long term. In the short term other people blessed me.
After work I encountered my other weakness: happy hour meetings. I popped into a local pub to meet some friends to hash out a project we have been working on. Immediately my friend Chris tells me to put my order on his tab.
"Did you know I'm on a spending freeze?" I questioned suspiciously.
No, he was just being nice. I did explain to him what I was doing- then promptly ordered a beer.
On the other hand, I did eat cheese and crackers for lunch.
If you regularly listen to Marketplace Money on Saturdays then you have probably heard Michelle Singletary's advice in the past. She is a columnist for the Washington Post and writes regularly on personal finance.