My biggest concern when we agreed to not go out to eat for a year was what Matt would do on seminary weekends. He is attending Asbury Theological Seminary, and does most of his classwork online. He does have to go to the campus one weekend per month to do intensive coursework. His schedule is packed, and I thought eating in would be impossible. In fact, we decided to start this challenge later than we had planned in order to avoid one of these seminary weekends.
When he goes, he leaves at 3:30am Friday morning, and has a 3 1/2 hour drive to Kentucky. He sits in class from 8:00am-5:00pm, and then goes back to the dorm to work on homework for the other classes he is taking. Class on Saturday lasts from 8am-12pm. He gets back in the car and drives home another 3 1/2 hours. Usually, there is something going on Saturday afternoon or evening that we have to do, so he is totally wasted by Saturday night.
I, being the obsessive compulsive planner that I am, spent a lot of time trying to decide how we were going to do one of these weekends. Do I buy a cooler and prepare meals ahead of time that could keep without a refrigerator? Does he only eat peanut butter sandwiches for five meals? I even told him at one point to make sure to stay somewhere where they had a kitchen, and he could cook meals for himself (like he’s not busy enough…see above paragraph). How nice of me. We briefly entertained the idea of giving him a pass for seminary weekends, but we didn’t want to give in since we have been doing so well.
Our solution turned out to be much more simple than anything I agonized over. Thank goodness for already prepared food at grocery stores. Duh… He loves Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts, so that takes care of breakfast. During the break for lunch, he went to Wal-Mart and got a few things from their deli, and a salad for dinner. Now before you get all legalistic and say that this is cheating, keep in mind that we decided to not spend money eating in restaurants. I consider him picking up a salad from the deli the same as buying a Lean Cuisine. On his drive home, instead of driving through somewhere, he usually gets through lunchtime with Combos, and eats something real when he gets home.
I’m so proud of the work he is doing and how he manages all he has to do in order to be successful in Seminary. I’m so blessed that he also cares so much about our goals as a family even when he is taking on so much in his own life.