Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Self Indulgence

One of the things I struggle most with in my life is my tendency to self indulgence. Especially as I get older, the issue seems to have more impact on my day-to-day life than ever before.

Interestingly, one of the things I found most difficult to accept about my father was my perception of his excessive self-indulgence. As I grew up, especially under the parsimonious influence of Lynda, whose depression experiences shaped every purchase decision she ever made, I felt that Bill was not only not pulling his weight by supporting the family (ie, me), but that he was actively diminishing our resources by failing to restrict his spending. He was always buying something. Over the years, he bought cars, clothes, jewelery, cameras, film, photographic equipment and supplies. He loved new shoes and had more than a dozen pairs. Pens, too, he collected, and watches, clocks and little boxes. I take after him in this way, of course, with my own little collections of useless but pretty things.

I also take after him, it seems, in my inability to limit my acquisitive desires, and this at a time when I really seriously ought to be worried about my finances. However, now that I am older and have had a taste of the intemperance of of life itself, I am less inclined to be judgmental about Bill's spending habits and more inclined to be self-indulgent of the same. As with all thought re-alignments, I am tempted to think that this is the natural course of things, but another part of me wonders if this is, in itself another form of self-indulgence?

I do in fact realize that at this point in life, money is not the object but the means. There is much I want to do, and time will not replenish itself, so it's to be spent as wisely as possible, while money can be replaced, and no amount of self-denial will trade one for the other.

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