I’ve done some more thinking about what I wrote yesterday, and I think some of my angst (which is getting better, by the way) about things is representative of a more widespread issue I seem to have. Namely, that I feel odd buying things for myself that I don’t “need.”
Call it a misguided search for efficiency if you’d like. But for some reason, I have difficulty justifying purchases or new investments when what I currently have works “well enough.” I am more likely to try and make something work than to replace or upgrade it. And honestly, “well enough” is not always the same as “well.” Case in point: my current flip phone, with no functioning screen. Sure, it makes calls, even lets me set alarms (mostly because I memorized the button sequence) and check voicemails. But I can’t send or receive texts (which have become a larger part of my communication than I thought possible, but that’s a different issue), see if I missed a call (I usually keep my phone on silent/vibrate), or check the time (most annoying, since I don’t like wearing watches).
This is especially true when money is tight, as it has been the past few years during and after grad school. Then, this tendency interacts with my sometimes (read: often) overactive frugality to create a perfect storm of Making Do.
That is not to say that I think throwing things away at the first sign of failure would be a better solution. I don’t. I’m an incorrigible tinkerer, and am an avid supporter (at least in spirit) of maker culture. Even if I don’t get around to tweaking and improving my possessions, I should at least have the option. But I also think that there comes a point where the energy invested in making something work would be less than starting over.
Does it sound like I’m trying to convince myself? Congratulations, you’ve discovered one of the not-so-hidden purposes of this blog! Help yourself to one (1) whole Int4rw3b. They’re in a bowl next to the candy.
But seriously. I find that writing like this, even without much re-reading and review on my part, helps me sort through my thoughts in a way that merely brooding about them does not. It also gives me the chance to receive feedback from my family and friends, which can provide a much-needed outside perspective. After all, who am I to notice all the nooks and crannies, the baffling design decisions, the stairs that lead nowhere within my own psyche? I live here.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, it should be okay to occasionally be nice to yourself. Did you hear that, Me? Relax every once in a while. Take a risk, buy yourself something nice.
You deserve it.