I love bacon. On some occasions turkey bacon will do but the real smoked bacon, which gives a proper sizzle and curls up in the frying pan is the thing.
Apologies to all the non-pork eaters but let me explain what this is all about.
I never thought of needing to budget whether I could afford to purchase bacon until I moved home to Montserrat with my children. On the grand scheme of things, bacon could not be a priority over making sure they had fruits and other healthy foods, which were not cheap to purchase or always available. The price of bacon could get me enough flour and eggs for a week. So without much thought, my desire for bacon would have to wait until I travelled abroad and stayed in a nice restaurant with bacon on the breakfast menu. I resigned myself to saying my waistline would thank me but the truth of it, I would gouge myself on bacon when I travelled.
As the years went on, I found that the list of things I could afford or chose to buy didn’t include a lot of stuff for me. It was always about what the children needed to have what others needed that was more important than what I needed. Before too long, if you asked me what I needed or wanted, it was like if you’d asked me to work out the Pythagorean Theorem without giving me any measurements. I didn’t need or want anything.
This in some instances can be a good thing because you tend to not to get disappointed if something doesn’t go in your favor but more than anything it is a tough place to live when you are pretty much disconnected from your own desires and needs. It leaves you open for settling and compromising, which I was doing at an increased pace.
I had to put bacon back on my shopping list.
Bacon became the symbol that
1) I was going to add me back on my own shopping list;
2) I was going to do something that was for and about me and my taste buds;
3) Do something to improve my appearance;
4) Increase my knowledge; and
5) Increase my income to afford to buy the things I needed or wanted.
It didn’t happen overnight.
I would get to the supermarket freezer with the bacon and debate whether I should get turkey bacon as the kids preferred that one. I would debate whether to spend the extra money on bacon at all or leave the money for some emergency. I had running mental wars with myself at the cash register as I saw that crazy price for a pack of bacon that we could eat in two sittings.
But I did it. I didn’t do it every week but at least once a month, I bought me a pack of that smoky goodness.
Adding bacon helped me put regular trips to the hair salon back on my schedule and budget (speaking of which, I’m overdue for a visit to my stylist).
Adding bacon gave me the courage to start buying bags other than brown. I’d forgotten that I enjoyed some color in my life and in my clothing.
Adding bacon lead to reengaging with my dream of homeownership. I went house shopping, spoke to my banker, started a Pinterest board to see what images could work with the ideas in my head and made a plan for buying one.
I added bacon and it helped me to increase my expectations of myself and others. To need more and want more than just accepting that I should be second fiddle to everyone else including my children, family and clients.
Whatever your bacon is, it’s time to put it back on your shopping list. Make the time to run, to walk, to get your nails done, and to visit with a friend. It may mean revamping your business plan and find new strategies to increase your client base or attract more valuable customers. When your business makes more, you can make more so you can afford your bacon. Rather than say I don’t need it or I can be satisfied with this, open yourself to wanting and needing more good things in your life.
Go ahead. Buy the bacon!
Nerissa Golden is an award-winning communications and business innovations strategist. The mother of four is the author of three books, including The Making of a Caribbeanpreneur: Strategies for Overcoming Fear and Building Wealth. Follow her on twitter @trulynerissa.