Monday, February 05, 2007

An Ok Weekend...

I didn't get quite as much done as anticipated, but overall it's been a pretty good weekend. I've been a little lackadaisical about recording all of my expenditures, though, so I'm going to balance my checkbook tonight!

The longer I spend away from shopping, the easier it becomes to look back at my shopping obsession and sort of laugh. I mean, it cost me a lot, but I'm looking at it as a challenge rather than a massive mistake now. And I'm feeling a little better about my money every day...if I could stop spending it every day, I'd feel even better!

Two things: One, my car broke down today, but fixing it only cost me $40, so huzzah to that! Cheapest car repair ever.

Two, I was talking to my dad today and came to a bittersweet revelation. I grew up with my mom primarily, so I don't have an extremely close relationship with my father, but we try to catch up semi-frequently on the phone. When we do see each other, we almost always go shopping for antiques at auctions and estate sales because my dad has a part-time antique business. Mostly he just buys antiques, he sells them rarely, and over the years he's accumulated so many antiques that it's hard to move through the rooms in his house (the garage and attic are completely packed). He was telling me that my stepmother was getting on his case for spending so much money on antiques (it's tax time, so she's processing the receipts now) and he said something that I can empathize with: "I don't want to give it up, it's the only thing I get to do that makes me happy." Now, I know he wasn't trying to imply that the people in his life don't make him happy. But he's gotten himself into a place that I know well: shopping, buying antiques, has become such an obsession that it's the only thing that can make him happy. I was like that too, shopping made me feel "alive." It's all I could talk about, I even joined an internet forum devoted to shopping so I could talk about it all the time (when I talk to my dad we almost exclusively talk about what he's been shopping for). I guess I'm a lot like my dad in this respect. I don't know that my dad feels the need to kick the habit, he's pretty well off and all of his spending isn't hurting his quality of life, but to think of all the things he could be doing with his time that could make him really happy. He could visit me, for instance! Or relax a bit, spend more time with his family. There are so many more reasons for fighting off a compulsive shopping habit than just getting in a better financial position. I realize that the benefits of kicking the habit will be more far-reaching than I thought.


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