Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What would I Buy?

Hey everybody. It’s been a while again since I posted. I got caught up in the frantic pace of the semester. Between work, studying for midterms, writing term papers, and all the other things that accompany day to day life, there was a couple of weeks there where I didn’t have enough time to sleep, much less blog! Things have calmed down again, thankfully. Unfortunately, part of that wasn’t my choice –I lost my job last week. Surprisingly, I’m not nearly as upset as one would think. Sure, I’m out of work, but between my savings (thriftiness pays off!) and my unemployment benefits, I’ll be okay for a while. And truth be told, I absolutely hated that job so I’m not sad about no longer going there everyday. I’m actually able to get out of bed now without forcing myself!

I ran to the store today to develop the film from my church’s Halloween party and pick up some grocery staples. The only other thing I bought was another package of CFLs to replace a few more of my incandescent lightbulbs. I know, I’m out of work right now –but this was my gift to the Earth for the fall season. Every CFL saves 300 pounds of carbon dioxide over the course of its lifetime. So, by spending eight dollars on a pack of lightbulbs, I kept 900 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere! I’m trying to do my part to save this fragile, weary, wonderful world we call home –job or no job.

One thing that struck me as I wondered around the store waiting on the photos to be developed was how much STUFF was there. There were doodads and gadgets and thingabobs galore. Everywhere. My house could have fit into a corner of the store and yet even that amount of stuff wouldn’t fit in it if you crammed every single inch of it full. Most of the stuff was other junk too, plastic things wouldn’t last very long and would eventually wind up in the garbage. Ditto the last for pretty much everything in that store. They were all ready putting Christmas items out! I was astonished –it is just now Halloween! Then I was outright upset when I went through electronics and discover that they have a tv there that costs over 2000 dollars. That’s four times what I paid for my first car! For a tv? I don’t think so, not even if I one the lottery.

That got me thinking about the question so commonly posed in our consumerist society (you can see I had too much time on my hands in this store, lol): If I suddenly came into a large amount of money, what would I buy? After due reflection, I realized that the answer was very little. I would pay off all my debts, including my mortgage and put myself through school, assuming the money was enough for that. But what would I buy? Not much, and most of it used. A really good set of cookware and bakeware for my kitchen; I’m always cooking, and since I’m in grad school on a limited budget my pans are the cheapest I could find. I could really use some that are decent! I would buy a freezer to store produce in, a pressure canner to can produce, another stockpot for the same reason, and a sewing machine to help with my crafts. And some things for the garden –a hoe and wheelbarrow (I’ve been making do without them) and some berry bushes. That’s about it. Of all the things in this consumerist society that I could go out and buy, that’s all I would get. And just about all I want in the world.

Except for my degree and a good job. And a spouse and kids. But those things can’t –and shouldn’t be –bought.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry you lost your job, but glad to see you back on the blog. Hope things turn out well for you.


10/31/2006 4:56 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I'm glad you lost a job you hated! I believe that something else will come along, maybe something you actually enjoy!

Oh, about those CFLs you just bought. I hope you saved your receipt and the packaging. Some utility companies (ours included) offer a rebate on purchases of energy-saving items: CFLs, appliances, windows and doors, new roofs, toilets, etc.)and you might be able to get some of your money back. I just did a CFL rebate that gave me $5 back from a $25 purchase of bulbs. It's not much, but it helps!

A wheelbarrow is a wonderful thing. I got one for my birthday last year and I can't believe how much we have used it! Have you considered putting a post on your local freecycle board for a wheelbarrow and hoe? You might get lucky!

11/01/2006 9:46 AM  
Blogger RAS said...

Thanks all! Carolyn, I intend to try freecycle for a wheelbarrow, but I haven't had the chance yet. I've been so busy that it is pretty far down on the list. (After all, I won't need it until spring, and in the meantime I have finals and final projects coming up, lol.)

11/06/2006 10:03 AM  

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