I’m almost done with my living room now, barring some decor things. It cost a lot in terms of money and stress, but it was completely worth it. The overwhelming, misery-inducing clutter is gone now. My upgraded living room is bright and airy. Its main features include a new and awesome window-box, diwans with sheets of the royalest blue and cushions in happy colours. It also features a birdcage lamp and a fake creeper on a curtain rod.
I love that creeper.
Also, I went shopping today, and bought a few things. I stopped at a few because even a little can cost quite a bit and because I’ve spent a lot on my renovation this month. And I’ll continue to pay for it over the next few months. Interiors are expensive as hell but I don’t mind paying for these things. Because even the tiniest home deserves to be beautiful. A home is a sacred thing and I know how a pleasant space can make your whole life feel better. Happier and safer and more surmountable. Last year, when I redid my bedroom, I stopped talking in my sleep almost completely. I used to do it every night. I still do, now. But only sometimes.
I can do this now without worrying about it too much because I earn more than I used to a few months ago. Which is awesome and also kind of creepy.
You see, I don’t have a mental calculator. I don’t automatically keep track of what I spend and what I have. That part of my brain is broken.
I’m terrified of turning into the kind of person who buys things without a second thought just because the money exists and just because I’m not keeping track. I’m wary of becoming careless. I don’t want to give in to immediate gratification all the time. I was never that type of person and I hope I’ll never be.
And so, I’ve drawn a squiggly sort of line in my mind dividing all my current and potential expenses into two types.
- The first kind is a necessity, or buys life-upgrades or peace of mind. Necessities are necessary, a life-upgrade is a big decision and not one to be splurged on without proper thought, and things that buy me peace of mind can be both big and small.
- The second kind includes material expenses with more short-term effects on life and mood, or expenses that are mostly just bells-and-whistles. Things I really want but don’t exactly need, for instance, or things I could definitely do without.
My renovation is a necessary life-upgrade. Everyone deserves a lovely house. My nephews deserve that window-box. My mom deserves a kickass kitchen. Going home by rick everyday seems extravagant, but it means a lot less commute related anxiety and so I’ll spend on that.
But if I don’t need a third new item of clothing today, I should probably stop right there and buy more some other time. And the 7 books I added to cart on Flipkart last week, just because I got my new bookcase? I’ll empty that cart. I’ll turn it into a Wishlist. Those are all books I’ve already read. Many are books I’ve owned before, and lent out or lost. And while I really want them all again, I think I’ll wait. I’ll get myself one book a month and no more.
It’ll feel more precious that way.