Sunday, March 27, 2011
Ahhh ... I hope you've been enjoying your weekend! I know I've been enjoying mine! It's been so quiet and mellow here. I've done all sorts of household-y errands-y things like grocery shop and buy cleaning supplies, sweep and mop the kitchen and common areas, tidy up my room and run a couple loads of laundry, fold clothes, start on my taxes, and in a bit I'll cook up some food for the week. In between, spouts of sewing and knitting while March Madness plays in the background.
Do you watch college basketball? I really only watch the March Madness tournament each year, but I love how it's more tactical and less "shock and awe" than the NBA, the way luck can be such a large element - due to the nature of single elimination tournaments, small things can make a big difference, like whether or not a key player draws a couple early fouls, the randomness of somebody having an "off" game or if they're on fire. I'm also totally one who talks to the TV screen - "Rebound!!!" or "You have to go inside, those 3-pointers aren't working today!" or "DON'T FOUL HIM!!!" or "Niiiiiiiiiiiiiice" ...
My roommate, the one I've only known a couple months, keeps saying to me, "Really??? You're interested in/do X? I totally don't see that!!!" X, in this case, being basketball, or watching sports in general. Which is funny, because if you knew me in high school I'll bet this would be no surprise, I was terribly into sports in high school. Probably if you asked those friends who knew me then if they thought I'd be into sewing and knitting and stuff, you'd get that same "Really??? I totally don't see that!!!" reaction. Even though both have always been "me" maybe they're just more apparent at different stages in life.
But anyways as I was mopping the floor today, I was thinking with some amusement that here I was, "slaving" away, whereas my other roommate would probably just hire a cleaning lady and be done with it. Not that I have anything against hiring a cleaning lady persay, but for me personally, I don't exactly feel like I have the finances to afford a cleaning lady. Or rather, I suppose I could hire one if I wanted to, but I don't mind cleaning and I'd rather save the money towards something else. I've seen plenty of people my age make that time/money tradeoff ... and I wonder if we're an odd generation, or maybe I'm the oddball in my generation.
My parents were up for dinner last night, and they were remarking about a comment that some GenY'ers had made in some article that, "We don't have enough discretionary income to save for retirement!" Wrong, said my parents, first you put money away for retirement, and anything that's left over is discretionary, not the other way around. I don't think we're a particularly financially literate generation, although to be fair I think financial literacy has gotten a lot more complex than it was a couple generations ago. I still remember reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and how they cut a slit in the bottom of a tin can, flipped it over and nailed it to the floorboards, and then deposited a nickel in the can each night to save towards buying a house.
For people in my generation, I feel like it's hard not to look around at our peers and feel like we, too, would like to be out making Starbucks runs each morning, that we "should" be able to have dinner out with friends a couple nights a week, lunch out with coworkers a couple days a week because it tastes so much better/is so much more convenient than leftovers, that if everybody else is out partying on the weekends or whooping it up in Vegas then why can't we skip out of town on the coming 3-day weekend too? Or buy the latest trends because they're all over magazines, or just pick up something new for each birthday, trip, and other major life event because that's what we've always done. It's all over TV and we think we see that in our peers, and so we think it's "normal" and then it feels like if we do not "have" this lifestyle ourselves, we are somehow deprived. Or maybe this is just how it is in the big cities, but I've noticed that vibe for several years now in the various places I've lived.
As I have to keep reminding myself, spending up to the very limits of my paycheck actually has a twofold effect. I'm not saving anything, and I'm acclimating to a heavy-spending lifestyle so that pretty soon I'll feel tied to a certain income level, handcuffed to a job because it'll provide that standard of living. As tempting as it may be to buy, buy, buy, I have to keep reminding myself that by not spending so much, I'm actually buying freedom and flexibility -- so that I could take a lower-paying job if it meant doing something I truly believed in, or divert on an unconventional detour for awhile and trust that it will be OK. "Investment towards my future," I keep reminding myself. "I'm investing in my future ... by not buying that now." It works sometimes. I keep trying.
My latest sewing project. I do realize that all these fabric and yarn purchases might just be in violation of the "investing in my future" mandate I've given myself. Sigh. That's, like, the next frontier and fodder for another post.
OK. I'll leave you with a couple favorites from the past 2 weeks of MMM. The rest are up on Flickr.
Olive green tights were my piece of green for the day! Scarflet is only handmade component of this outfit. Love the juxtaposition of the thrifted dress and the expensive suit blazer. An admittedly short dress for work standards, I probably won't wear it in again.
What are your fallback "look"s that you go for when you're tired? For me, I have certain color combinations that I gravitate towards - purple and green, purple and orange, green and orange, one of the abovementioned with gray and/or brown or just plain brown. Although, oddly enough, I don't have all that much green and orange and purple.
As my friend says, I look like I'm wearing a doilie!