Friday night, as we contemplated ordering dinner at a local restaurant, I jumped into restriction mode without intending to do so. The dialogue with myself consisted of, “You can’t order this because it’s too many calories,” “This one is loaded with carbs,” and “I think that they are charging too much for this entrée.” The consequence of this type of language is that I usually order something other than what I truly want.

As I have previously stated, life is too short to drink cheap beer. Likewise, it’s too short to replay old reminders or warnings that cease to have any real meaning. Not only does this apply to restaurant items, but also it relates to shopping for clothes, cars, vacations, or any other commodities that we seek in our daily lives.

Because I hear other people saying similar reminders to themselves or their companions, I know that I am not the only one who limits my purchases based on historic agenda. Maybe it’s time to think about what we really want, rather than what we have always considered to be sufficient.

Here’s how that looks in the real world. You are sitting in a restaurant and it’s likely to be the only time you’ll have dinner in one this week. The salmon looks good but it’s about $3 or $5 more than the other entrees and you’re hesitant to spend the extra few dollars. There’s money in the bank, no-one is keeping track of how much you spend for dinner, and absolutely no harm is done by ordering what you love.

Move to another venue. You’re looking at two suits and you need to purchase one for an upcoming meeting or trip. One is $100 more than the other but it makes a statement of professionalism and character that you want to make. The other is adequate and besides, who is looking at your suit and when will you have need to wear it again?

If it makes you feel good and you are not taking that $100 from something else that you “need,” buy it. No harm is done. Someday, some time, you must do what makes you happy without attaching a guilt trip to the purchase. Shalom.

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