True Cost

Dear J-

The weekend before last weekend I mentally added up all the costs of our little trip to the City (Children’s Creativity Museum plus lunch at the food court in the Metreon — Korean food, which the kids like again) and winced inwardly. Between parking and admission, food and donations, we ended up with a fair amount spent on entertainment — probably a hundred bucks or so. This last weekend was a relative disaster in comparison. I get an inexplicable thought in my mind and before I’ve got a chance to think about it, I’ve already acted on it and wow, I don’t think I really needed that. So it goes. Several hundred dollars later and I’m filled with regrets.

But it’s a good deal, I think, and I could use that, and … well … not so much, in the end. The joysticks I bought to play Freespace? How many did I need? The trackballs? Which are going to end up being donated back to the world of thrift shops? We had an agreement, a virtuous plan to be less needy of stuff and things. I was going to do a spring-cleaning evaluation of what’s worked and what I need and what I could give up next time. That much is clear. It’s easier to move mountains than change habits, I guess. We are having a bit of a spree and I suppose I got caught up in it, although that may just be me setting up low expectations and giving myself soft excuses.

The one positive development is we’re now a wheeled family: the kids and I all have bikes, and we spent the last two afternoons puttering about the neighborhood on various wheeled conveyances. It was not something they asked for but something we thought they might need, and in the end bedtimes are nicer with tired kids — not the over-tired hyperactivity of too much TV but the honest tired of physical kids. Let’s remember that: it’s not just about me and wha I might want. It’s not just about me. That I’m happy to spend on: getting us up and moving and forward and happy.

Mike

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