I've had this post planned for a long long time. At least 6 months. And in that time the contents of what I was going to write about has changed at least three times. I'm not sure what has taken me so long to get around to it. Maybe part of it is embarrassment. The other part of it is possibly fear or reticence. I hope it is obvious to what I am referring to when I say I am a grasshopper as to why.
I'm referencing, of course, the grasshopper in the Aesop fable The Ant and the Grasshopper in which the wise ant toils and saves for lean times while the grasshopper sings its Summer away.
Yes, that is me.
I am admittedly a horrible horrible saver. Let's suffice it to say that -
When I was first going to write this post, I was thinking about the things that I spend my money on. I don't tend to judge people on what they buy (or what they don't buy, either). Because everyone spends their money on some indulgence. Some people spend it on cars or travel or concerts or comic books. Around here much of the money gets spent on the pets and on food. The pets actually get the highest priority to me. The house also received some good touches too.
And for me personally, it's obviously shoes. I like clothes okay, but get bored with them so I don't spend a lot and tend to stick to basics. I like jewelry but don't have a lot of it, not even as gifts. I'm not a purse person either. Frankly, I'm too lazy to rotate them all the time, have no where to store them and am actually more seduced by luggage than a "must have" bag. I have a few small clutches, a few decent ones and a few vintage ones. They take up a single shelf in my armoir.
But with the economy the way that it is and the nature of the advertising industry in which I work, I've been trying to cut back on my impulse buying. I've been a total recreational shopper. I would go to Target or look online or in catalogs and see things that I just had to have. I also have a nasty habit of being disgustingly acquisitive. This is not a good combination.
So I've tried to stop tempting myself. But given what I write about a lot here and what I read online and off, it's kind of hard to turn it totally off. I have just had to resort to averting my eyes. I don't go into Target. I am cancelling and not opening the catalogs. I'm deleting the "Sale!" emails unopened. Is it working? A bit but still....
The good thing is that I haven't seen a whole lot to be inspired about. I'm just feeling kind of blah about what's out there right now. And I'm finding a bit of will power to resist the things that may speak to me but that aren't perfect for me. I admit this is no easy task. I've also tried to impose a limit on myself to only shop/buy something I "need" which has helped with the impulse aspect.
The hard thing is that I used to say that I feel like the Medici - an appreciator and a sponsor. My "funding" helps the artists that I buy from to continue to be able to create their wonderful items. On some level I admit to being touch envious of that creativity and therefore covet it. But what is my identity outside of this spending?
I don't consider myself a creator, so if I stop buying what is my creative outlet here? I'm not saying I'm without skills or talents. I'm a great baker, pretty good at photography, I can put together a great color scheme and table design, I can organize a heck of a closet and I have a clear vision of how to design a room. But how often do you get to do those things? Most of my other pleasures are internal and quiet. By finding, selecting and incorporating things like amazing unique accessories I feel I am interpreting the art, making it known to the world. Like an archaeologist makes and interprets a discovery.
But now that all seems kind of silly... and risky... and a bit pompous. And it also no longer rings true with me. I'm becoming even picker. Almost frugal. Okay, maybe not totally frugal in my heart but somewhat frugal in my actions. I'm still getting some thing but then they come home, I stare at them for a few days and am deciding to take them back. I don't know if it's boredom or fear or what.
Part of it also is stemming from the aftermath of when Napoleon was killed. A lot of things that interested me before that suddenly didn't really matter that much to me at all. Life does continue but it left me a bit apathetic about what I was doing. I also ended up wanting to just spend more time at home than out running round to stores just to have something to do.
As I said, the premise of this post changed a few times so it's probably pretty rambling and yawn-inducing. Mainly it's about getting some of my thoughts down about where I am at right now with money and spending and even a bit of the malaise I've been feeling. I feel that this has come through online here too.
Part of me is also trying to find my key differentiator. More marketing talk, I know. What that is all about is what is the main thing that makes me different and unique, especially online here. I don't get specific or focus on my work too much because I like to keep that separate and on the day to day level it's kind of neutral. I don't travel all over and, while I love where I live right now, it's not a "hot spot" by any stretch. So my social life isn't crazy. I'm not saying that the things I bought (or wished to buy) defined me but they were much of what I talked about here. I have my passions but I've felt they were too specific to be interesting.
I think I need to use the time leading up to my NYC trip and during it to think more about my goals and strategies. I'd love to get any thoughts, feedback, ideas or suggestions for what you've liked or even hated.