travel notes

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Decision in the produce isle. Central Market, N Lamar Blvd.

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2011 at 3:59 am

In her book, The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin establishes some ground rules to be, well, happier.

Rule No. 1. Be Gretchen.

I love this, and have adopted the personal commandment for myself Be Leah. In all circumstances. In all company.

Gretchen also emphasizes certain aspects of life each month of the year, such as marriage, money, friendships, energy, and home.

In addition to my Be Leah commitment, I have declared October as my Focus on Finances month. It is time to get serious about moo-lah!

25 is a good age to learn to earn, save, spend, and give with purpose. I sat down with my calculator and my excel budget spreadsheet and got to work.

Thus, when I set out to do my weekly grocery shopping, I drove off in the opposite direction of my beloved (but admittedly more expensive Central Market) and in the direction of the W. And no, not the swanky hotel and bar downtown Austin. Yes, the American-mecca of Wal-Mart.

With my super-sized cart (a 1:4 ratio compared to CM’s tiny, perfectly engineered pusheroos), I circled the grimy isles.

I was like Zooey Deschanel in New Girl trying to work up the courage to stop in front of her ex-boyfriend’s house to claim her stuff back. Only after driving around the block a hundred times does she finally pull the car into park.

I at last stopped in the produce isle; the wilted lettuce looked at me sadly, the plastic-wrapped tomatoes made me wonder if they were REAL, and the grapes were so shriveled they should have been shelved as raisins. I half-heartedly put some apples and kale in my basket.

Two hours later and still balking, I made my way to the cash register. One by one, as the lady scanned each item, my heart sank a little lower.

Could. Not. Do. it.

Just at the last second, with the total on the screen, and my card ready to swipe, I walked away. The wilted lettuce gave a pathetic little wave. I got in my car and drove to Central Market. I didn’t look back.

Fresh flowers met me at the door. Interesting, happy people weighed organic purple onions and snacked on watermelon samples. The isles were bright and the food was beautiful. I was home, I was happy, I was Leah.

Life is a constant dance of priorities. In my hierarchy of priorities, I discovered that being wise with my money is incredibly important to me, and a goal to conquer in my twenties.

I also discovered that beauty and surroundings affect me deeply, and I was willing to pay a bit more in this case for the value of the experience.

Central Market just makes me happy. And that makes it worth every penny.