Note: This is a post from Joan Otto, Man Vs. Debt community manager. Read more about Joan.
I’ve got a couple of really bad habits.
Specific to Man Vs. Debt, I have a habit of buying things – “little” things – to make myself feel better when I’m upset.
But more personally, I have an incredibly hurtful bad habit.
This is a story I’ve never shared publicly before, but as we’ve started our final You Vs. Debt session, the stories shared by my classmates in the forums make me realize how much baggage ALL of us carry into our financial lives. It’s not about money – not really. It’s about mindfulness.
It’s about the pain of changing vs. the pain of doing what you’ve always done, the decision to do one thing or another.
And this is the best example I can give of that decision as it’s played out in my life.
“I barely felt a thing…”
I first remember it happening while I was sitting in 10th-grade history class. I was bored, I think. Maybe a little down about some kind of high-school drama. As the teacher lectured, I took the second finger of my left hand and scratched absently at the back of my right. Up, down, up, down… for a 90-minute class period. At the end of class, my good friend Phil leaned over and gasped, “What did you do?” He looked down, horrified.
I’d left an inch-long gash in the back of my hand, so deep that I could see bone. I was bleeding everywhere. And I had barely felt a thing.
[And that was only the beginning…]