OK, so apparently people think I'm denying myself something, many things, possibly "important" things. What the hell? I'm one of the only people I know who has everything they want. There are more things I wouldn't mind having (like if anyone has a spare Johnny Depp lying around going unused....that would be fine).
So, here's how this came up today:
I got a call from a colleague this morning asking if I was coming to a group work event. I said that I was stranded on the wrong side of the mountains by weather, 6 hours from home, so nope. She asked if that was a problem and I said, thinking she knew me well, that nope, I had a plenty of savings at this point in my life for these sorts of little "emergencies" so it was no hardship to find a budget hotel and spend a night in Portland Oregon (actually...it's really fun with the cheap efficient public transit and the Powell's bookstore and the amazing food).
She said something like, "but you deny yourself so much to get those savings"
.......I am still sort of stunned. I have everything I need! And most of what I want. In my mind I don't deny myself anything. I wanted to say, "But I'm talking to you from a one bedroom apartment in Seattle (that I rent instead of a hotel room because it's cheap and private and I enjoy having a kitchen when I travel), and I'm on my way to Portland to wait out a storm while I find books on my list (resource material for things I WANT to do on MY land) and eat delicious food (just because I WANT to...). I mean for cripes sake, I went to Paris for Christmas (thanks Unca Pat for the room!) because I wanted to. Then I went to Amsterdam for New Years because what the hell, I was already in Paris.....oh the denial of not staying in Plummer...boohoo.
This woman has been connecting me with inexpensive resources and whatnot since I've bought land so I sort of thought we were on the same page, but I guess not.
Part of it is that long ago I started sorting my wants from my real "needs" and setting priorities for both. Once that was sorted, the rest started fall in place financially. For example, I "need" somewhere to live. I want privacy so I have lived alone in low cost housing. Decor and fashion and large amounts of space are not things I want, so not having them isn't "denial" to me, it's cool. I didn't want or need debt the last several years so I paid it off. That's not denial...that's awesome for my financial goals. I want savings. I have some. I need clothes...don't car about fashion...so I get 2nd hand clothes. Back to the savings and debt pay off priorities with the left overs. I wanted to ask her if she understood that I wasn't denying myself anything that interests me. I wonder if people who buy into the mainstream wants, or who maybe just don't get that we all want different stuff, will never get that for those of us who are outliers from the norm. I have friends and relatives who have much more gracious and spacious homes. My assumption was that that was what THEY want, not what EVERYONE wants. Some people really enjoy fine art. I think it's great. What I choose to spend my money on and get the most enjoyment out of is art by someone I have a personal connection with. Some day I'd like to own a Jim Denommie. I already own a Carly Bordeaux, a Gerald Nailor Jr (thanks Marcie!), an Erika Greenwell (hi Erika!). Sometimes something grabs me like the handmade plate I saw in New Mexico...I do know the potter now so in that case the art came before the personal connection. But you get the theme. These aren't all high dollar items but I really like them. I LOVE my original Bree (Hi Bree) and my Jon Hostager (Hi Jon!) and my Annnnnggggela (Hi Ange!) and my Laurie Koenigs (Hi Laurie!). I have several Pamela's (Hi Pam). Where's the denial?
I wanted to go on a canal boat trip. So I did. I wanted to see ancient Roman and Druid ruins. Saw both on the way too and from the canal boat in Wales. Wanted to see Paris again. So I did. Wanted to spend the night in Portland rather than make a long and dangerous drive through ice and snow and freezing rain. So I did. Wanted to buy land for cash. So I did. I want to live in a home of my own design. So I'm working on a design. I want to learn to build things so I've taken classes and now that I bought land, I can start putting those things into practice. I want to know if I can build a home without debt. So I am giving it a shot. I want to live with a low impact on the environment, so I bought a composting toilet and started thinking about how to implement it's use. I wanted to learn about gardening so I built a couple of raised beds.
Perhaps my loyal readers could clue me in on what I'm denying myself. I can't think of a thing (as I sit in my hotel, typing on my new computer, eating organic dark chocolate covered edamame beans from Trader Joe's and drinking delicious homemade chai from my purple stainless steel designer French press travel mug (hot water from my teal stainless steel Stanley thermos) wearing my organic cotton jammie pants and t-shirt (all of the things were bought at thrift) and wearing a lovely silver ring a friend just gave me after a giveaway/funeral on the reservation For breakfast I've got an assortment of organic goodies to supplement the complimentary breakfast.
Seriously, where is the huge gap in my life I should feel bad about? The part where I don't worry about whether I can pay my bills? The part where I pay some giant corporations huge amounts of interest for credit? The part where I stress about losing my job because of the crushing debt hanging over my head? The part where I would lose my home and car if I lost my job? The part where I'm 1 paycheck from desperation? The part where if an opportunity comes up I can't afford to take advantage of it? The part where I can't help people because I have no savings? The part where ...I got nothing.