As I was packing my lunch one morning I thought of a colleague who never packs her lunch. She doesn’t complain so I really don’t have a reason to think ,”Why doesn’t she pack her lunch.” It might be the number of people I know in positions similar to her’s who desperately want more pay or better positions and yet spend $10+ on lunches out.
I felt a bit silly judging someone for no reason so I shook myself and stopped thinking of her.
Then when she was heading out to pick up her own lunch she sent a group e-mail asking if the rest of the office wanted in. I originally said yes as the other team members had jumped in but when looking at the menu I realized nothing really appealed. I didn’t want to spend $20 on a lunch that I wouldn’t love especially when I had a perfectly good lunch in the fridge.
I went to her and said I was opting out as nothing sparked my interest, it turned out I really wanted what I brought. That’s when I realized the ways in which she was judging me. Her first question was what I had brought, then “Are you going to eat that all week?”
I must admit my back went up!
Then I found myself reacting like an uncool kid trying to impress, “No, that’s the last of it but I’ve don’t have it for dinner every night,, in fact last night was Nachos.”
Here’s the thing with finances and life, I waste too much energy thinking: thinking if I’ve given the right response, if I spent correctly, if I’m being frugal or cheap.
The wonderful thing with working is that you meet people who are very different from you. She enjoys having something different for lunch every day, I enjoy home cooking and prefer making meals out a treat. This doesn’t make us better or worse than the other.
The interaction made me realize I need to own my choices in my life. Yes I do like making a big meal and using the leftovers for 2-3 days! Frankly ML & I are good cooks and we only cook things we enjoy.
It also made me feel a whole lot less guilty of my morning judgement. Wondering about people and what makes them tick is natural, treating them shabbily for their choices or believing you’re on higher moral ground is wrong.