Yesterday I splurged and purchased a $2 latte using a coupon from a transnational coffee chain. Spending one-third of my daily food allowance on a single beverage seemed extravagant but I knew it will be my only one this week. Not to mention, my friend took me out for dinner, which meant that I would have one less meal to worry about. Without exaggeration, after a challenging week of physical and psychological stress, it felt like I won a modest lottery.
I’m registered to ride my bicycle from Toronto to Montreal this summer to raise money for the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation. Today was our first scheduled training ride, a simple 34 km loop from Yonge, Finch, McCowan to 14th. Given my irregular diet this week, I wouldn’t even dare attempt such a short route. I know my body and without enough nutrients, I’m going to sit this ride out. Since, I’m not properly prepared, there’s no point in putting myself, or my team at risk on the road. I notch it up as another drawback of a limited diet caused by a limited budget.
After five days of living on $6.65, I appreciate the invaluable work of Fife House even more. They offer those living with HIV/AIDS and struggling to stay properly housed an opportunity to thrive and at the very least live with dignity. Toronto is blessed to have such a compassionate service leader.
With a little less than $14 left for the last two days of the Thrive on $6.65 challenge, what I have known as commonplace is common no more.