Is it wrong that this Thanksgiving I decided I didn’t want to deal with all the hassle? I mean I love to cook, but unless family comes to visit it’s usually just Marcus and myself. Last Thanksgiving, I slaved over the stove while also running back and forth to the lab juggling some pretty important experiments. While the food was great Thanksgiving just wasn’t enjoyable for me at all. I was running myself ragged to try to keep up with a tradition and what for? So we can say we did it?
This year I decided I wasn’t going to cook Thanksgiving Dinner. You read that correctly. I just didn’t want to do it. Instead, I was going to cook a homemade turkey pot pie and call it a day. Doing this granted me several things.
- I was able to easily go to the grocery store on Tuesday and get my ingredients which ended up costing less than $30.
- I didn’t have to stay up all night cooking.
- I was able to sleep in and lounge around the house on Thanksgiving Day.
- Dinner took me less than 2hrs to cook (45 minutes of that was baking time)
It’s taken a while but the more and more I buck against traditions the better my life has become. I realized that the world’s traditions don’t have to be my traditions and because of this, I feel more in control. One thing I’m completely over is how we allow society to dictate our actions. It’s Thanksgiving, so you gotta spend a third of your grocery budget on food then turn around and spend all day cooking it. It’s Valentine’s Day, so this is the one day all year where you’re supposed to pull out all the stops for the one you love because any other day just won’t do. It’s Christmas, and well duh you’re expected to spend money. To me, these “traditions” are endless cycles of unwanted pressure on you physically, emotionally, and financially.
Don’t get me wrong I enjoy holidays, but I enjoy them more when I’m allowed to do them at a level that works best for my household and the goals we have set for our future. Sometimes, people don’t get that, and they expect more from you than what you’re able to offer really.
Think about it. How many times have you gone out and spent money on something you really couldn’t afford because it was expected of you or you didn’t want to let other people down? This mindset is crippling, and we end up hurting ourselves more when we deny the truth of our situation in order to appear a certain way to others.
I have no problem telling people that I’m broke. Or using the word “No” as a complete sentence. So this year, I bucked the system. I said “no” to going over my grocery budget, and I said “no” to spending hours in the kitchen. We had a caesar salad, turkey pot pie, and carrot cake for dessert and surprisingly the world didn’t end.
Do you feel pressure from a society driven holidays to go outside of your set goals and budget? How do you handle it?