Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Food and money

As I was working out on the treadmill this morning, I thought about the fact that in the new Women and Food group, four of us are also in the Women and Money group. All four of us believe that we do not have enough money for the future and we all struggle with overeating. It occurred to me that the two ideas are intimately related. That fear and lack financially translates somehow into a need for an abundance of food; here at least is one place where we can be in control, where we can solve the problem of scarcity and lack.

I was also struck by the very large dreams and goals of women in the money group, most of whom are at the end of middle age or entering elderhood. $100,000 in savings, say, or a portfolio of $1.5 million but with no real concrete plan for getting there. I wondered if these dreams (and I'm all for big dreams) are somehow linked in their lack of basis in rational expectation with our desires to regain the thinness of our youth, which I suspect each of us imagines will be accompanied by smooth skin, firm muscles, better vision, better hearing. You get the picture.

I'm not sure what to make of all this. On the larger scale, it may just be an interesting observation. On the personal level, it seems important to come up with a realistic plan to achieve what I'd like to. If I want $30,000 more in savings by the time I'm 70, I need to start saving $150 a month. And I set my online savings to start drawing that from my checking account. If I want to weigh 170 pounds again, I'm going to have make some specific changes in how much I eat. And I need to change, I suspect, my relationship to scarcity and lack, abundance and overconsumption.


sorella said...

Dear Jill,

I've been having this conversation in other circles of my life -- specifically, taking concrete steps to move toward what one wants. Not just talking the talk, but actually walking the walk. I'm looking forward to all of us doing this together!


hrmustang said...

good luck! it's important to have a balance in life, with everything... food, money, what we do for fun. you got this :) and great writing style