I am completely in love with my new gel pens. I’m like a seventh grader, trying the different colors in my notebook each day, coordinating my ink color to the background pattern on my check. I’m getting way more in happiness out of four brightly colored pens than the few bucks I spent on them would indicate. I may not have any clothes or hobbies, but dang it I’ve got orange, pink, blue and green gel pens!
It’s part of a philosophy I discovered in one of my favorite reads this year, The Happiness Project. What I like is that it’s not about spending when you don’t need to or just because you can. It’s recognizing those little things that make your life – or even just your day – a little brighter. I find myself coming back to this philosophy time and again, like when I buy cheese at the grocery store. For years I’ve been an el-cheapo about cheese, but then I realized how much I love a double-cheese grilled cheese sandwich with two kinds of cheese. So now I regularly toss a pack of American cheese and another of Provolone cheese into my cart. Why was I depriving myself of this pleasure over a $3.59 package of cheese slices that will also be enjoyed by other family members? Because it seemed extravagant to buy Provolone?
My next spend out is going to be a jar/box/bag of giant sized, nicely salted cashews. These are one of my favorite treats and now there is all this research about how people who eat nuts every day live longer. Like the cheese thing, it’s really just me being cheap. And I’m not cheap in general life. I’m just cheap about some things for no apparent reason. My nut purchase – which I plan to include in my regular, overall life schedule – supports the other great life guideline that I intuitively knew about but hadn’t put into words until I read The Happiness Project: Don’t let yourself get too hungry or too cold. Neither of those things are fun and they make me crabby. They are also absurdly easy to avoid.
An update on the wardrobe – I’ve been going back to my list of things I want this year and adding some of them into my wardrobe. Here’s what I’ve gotten so far:
– pale pink corduroys (surprisingly versatile)
– a deep purple velvet blazer (wore it out last Saturday night with white jeans and black sequin tank – loved it!)
– a black-and-white check button-down shirt (fun and cute)
– a blue/grey light denim workshirt (also surprisingly versatile)
– a charcoal grey boyfriend cardigan (bought it today but it’s going to be 75 all week so it will have to remain on hold for now)
– “denim” leggings (but don’t tell Grace because she thinks grown-ups should not wear these; I will only be wearing them with a tunic, just so you know)
– a black 3/4 sleeve cardigan (really, is there anything more versatile and classic than this?)
– an intensely orange long-sleeve t-shirt for the sole purpose of being worn under my Bears t-shirt or Bears jersey on cool days
– a deep sea-blue long-sleeve t-shirt that I think will be a nice layering piece
– a charcoal grey, ruffle-edged scarf (can you really ever have enough scarves?)
I also tried some grey nail polish, which I think is totally awesome and does not make you look like a corpse, even though it seems like it would. But still no luck on a non-boring black belt. Maybe I should revise my previous blog post to say that I Have Some Clothes But No Black Belt.
So today when you’re at the grocery store buy those crackers you love or the orange juice that’s more expensive but tastes awesome. You only get one life and, while it’s good to be frugal, it’s also good to treat yourself now and then.
And if you have a little time to kill online, check out this excellent site. Pinterest is my favorite new time-wasters on the web, but is so full of great ideas that it’s worth it. If you’re so inclined you can follow me there too.