Monday, March 26, 2012

In Which I Discover My Sense of Entitlement

Giving up Facebook and alcohol simultaneously has been an excellent exercise in self-control for those specific things. It has been hard, but doable; however, the part that has been the most disturbing is that now, while I don't necessarily crave checking Facebook or a nice, cold Michelob Ultra while watching Jayhawk basketball, something in my mind keeps saying "Indulge me! You deserve it!" I haven't been able to figure out what part of the brain this is, but it manifests itself as entitlement.

This part of my brain tells me that since I'm giving up these chosen things, I can instead indulge in XY&Z other things. This part of my brain is telling me that since I disturbed the balances of vices in my life by giving things up, I should definitely look into other vices like pop, buying crap I don't need (see February, I already tried to work on that one! It came back! Ack!), and "treating myself" to crap food. Practically speaking, I have purchased more sugary items from convenience stores during the month of March than I have in a really, really long time.

And so I discovered I am an entitled person. These things such as extra pop, sweets, etc. are neither wants nor needs. They are simply entitlements. I "deserve" more pop since I'm not drinking alcohol. I "deserve" to be able to snack on way too many Starburst Jelly Beans at work since I can't check Facebook. I "deserve" to eat fried food and/or get an extra serving of dessert's Monday and I can't have a glass of wine or check Facebook! How messed up is that?

I'm supposed to be mentally transcending above the plain of wants and needs! I'm supposed to be placidly raking my rock garden of zen-like self-discipline. I'm supposed to be the white, female, Midwestern version of this guy:

So for the month of April, I thought about giving up sweets or pop, but I think I'm going to give up "caving to entitlements". In practice, this will be mean carefully considering what I am purchasing and what goes into my body with the following questions:
  1. Do I need this?
  2. Do I want this?
  3. Do I just feel entitled to this?
This will involve a lot more thought than the black and white lines of alcohol or Facebook. We'll see how that goes.

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