on spending

One thing I learned from the weekend – once in a while, one needs to buy him/herself something just to avoid feeling deprived.

In the past semester, I kept myself from purchasing clothes because I wanted to save money for a new mobile phone or a digital camera. When I want to buy something, I plan it out – usually. I love lists and I listed down everything I wanted to buy this year – what’s left of it at least. The list was helpful in keeping me focused on my needs list.

My sister SMSed me last Sunday at about 2am. I was still awake, my already palpitating heart working double time – thanks to the heavenly Black Forest, a creation of barristas  from Cafe Antonio.

My sister was inviting  me to join their shopping trip to Divisoria, the Mecca for bargain seekers. I said earlier that I’d pass the annual Divisoria trip because of my personal financial crisis. They originally planned to make the trip on a Saturday but went on with the trip the next day.

She texted me at about 2am and we were to leave at 5am. I re-computed my meager savings and decided to join the trip with a budget that I promised I’d be sticking with. In hindsight, I try recalling if I really made myself believe that I’d be sticking to the original budget. But  of course! – NOT!

Then there was that feeling that it’s about time I bought myself something. I felt deprived, remembering those months when I hated to look in my closet every morning, trying to remember when I wore that one shirt in the previous week. I have not bought shirts in a while. So I bought many this time – at a bargain price, of course.

From 8am until 4pm, we were at Divi. We braved through the  market crowd in a sleep deprived state. By 4pm, my legs hurt, mud graced my rubber shoes,  and there was this pounding in my head. The tip of my fingers were losing circulation turning bluish purple or purplish blue – whatever, you get the idea. By the time we settled inside the car at 4pm , I felt the chill I usually get whenever I realize the amount I’ve spent in the past hour.

I grew up in a family where you’re trained to feel guilty whenever you spent more than a thousand in one item or in a day. I computed, and learned that I spent nearly half my monthly net pay in the past eight hours! Another set of chills and then came guilt.

I have planned the rest of the month surviving through the ever dependable siomai meals. No more pampering. I’m definitely not feeling deprived anymore.

There’s guilt in spending perhaps too much and then the fear of the succeeding days of  stretching the budget from pay to pay.

I will never let myself feel deprived anymore. It’s just more expensive.

– and I hope to put this in practice this time 🙂

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a reminder

Most of (if not all)  the time, one focuses on complaints, what is not happening, and what should be. True, there’s a lot of things left to be improved, to be achieved, and deadlines to meet. I’ve spent a lot of time complaining about a lot of things. I could not recall a day that passed that I never complained.

I wondered, is there anything one can do daily that’s positive? Something I’d do with the same intensity as my complaints?

Remembering the advice from The Secret. It advised people to know what they want and more importantly, what they are thankful for. I found it hard to think about what I can be thankful for – at the start, at least. The list was blank for a while. My Wants list was anything but blank. I’ve written many journal entries about it. Since sleep eludes me at the moment – and while I feel like writing, I try to recall the things I am thankful for:

  • life: I’m definitely thankful that I get to reach this age, sane, complete, any with a heart still functioning properly working double time (malfunctioning valve)
  • family: I have passed the stage when I felt like I was a visitor in the home I grew up in. Bacacay will always be a place of refuge. And whenever I feel burned out, I’ll always have a place to go to.
  • work: I’m part of the labor force. I’m doing something I’ve wanted to do since elementary – to teach. I still manage to to pay my bills :).
  • circle: I’m relatively more sociable now – at least, I’d like to think so. I go out for good food, better coffee, and even better company.
  • less worries: I’m currently struggling in adjusting to thinking less about work and devoting more time for other things – family, writing nonsense, and whatever may interest me at the moment. I’m sleeping better these past days.
  • 13th month pay: At last I got myself a decent music player. It’s an investment, I try to convince myself. It will motivate me to jog more regularly and to walk. I’d say this early, that it’s a good purchase. Also, I got to experience doing some minor shopping and enjoy the town’s supermarket. It’s nice to just get what one wants while refusing to look at the price – a luxury I can do only for groceries.

… more to come.

There will always be something one can be thankful for everyday. So the challenge for me now it to identify things I am thankful for for every complaint I can come up with.

the weekend

It’s nice when you find yourself out of your routine. I usually spent weekends inside – hibernating.

It’s a good weekend is when one is able to finish a book and have that DVD marathon. A gluttonous dinner after a whole day of hibernation, lazyitis, or movies and I find myself ready for Monday.

This weekend, however, was way more eventful:

  • got to take a LOT of photographs
  • road trip in Laguna and Quezon
  • adventures in the rice field pilapil (under the rain) persuading rice farmers to allow us to take their photographs
  • hike (mud, rocks, etc)
  • visit the National Arts Center (dizzy, ears popping) and Pook ni Maria Makiling for the first time (after six years of staying in Los Baños)
  • experience the riverbanks
  • gave my Chucks a mud bath
  • visit the underground cemetery (the last time was about four or five years ago)
  • see baguio (or Dolores?) beans still attached to the vine
  • experience waking up really early in two consecutive days
  • visit Kuya Sherwin’s two homes, a province apart
  • witness how a childhood treat was prepared (colorful, pellet-like puto seko)
  • discover that there is a golden Tilapia
  • uncover a bag that I forgot I had
  • and spent the weekend with great company! (and did I mention the food trip?)

for a change

I’ve been writing a lot about how unproductive I feel – not today.

I found myself waking up to a downpour, which extended the time I spent in my bed for about an hour. It was an okay day, I thought. An okay day was neither a good or bad day. It will just another day unremembered. Out of habit, I mentally run through the things I had to do today – and dreaded not being able to finish at least half of them. That would definitely make me feel worse. I’m having trouble adjusting to the phase at work after a week of leisure. I worried a lot and did very little – except worry.

On the way home, I found myself happy recalling the day’s outputs. I was not able to check all the boxes in my to-do list. I’m happy that I got to finish most of them. Not bad for a day. And after a long time, I felt productive enough.

I seldom get this feeling of fulfillment. I know this won’t be something I’d enjoy everyday. That is why I am relishing this moment. This is something I can read later of I find myself feeling unproductive once more. This is a reminder that for this month, I’ve been able to enjoy this feeling – and I will experience that again.

I do however hope that such time would not come so soon – and if possible – never. Fat chance. Allow me to daydream.