Monday, January 21, 2013

Enough Already

I love to save money. I hate to waste. I would rather reuse something than recycle it. I relate to the saying, “Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Do without.” But sometimes, I think I carry it too far. 

Case in point. I have a yellow clothes basket that has had a long life in my house. In the beginning, it worked well. Then it developed a split on the top rim. However, if I remembered to carry it carefully, I didn't get pinched and the split was only a minor problem. As time went on, that split lengthened and I had to handle the basket carefully so that it wouldn't tear any more. At this point the the fix-anything duct tape came out to repair it. That worked for a few months until the tape came off and left its sticky residue. In the meantime, the other side started splitting, and now it was easy to get pinched unless you were VERY careful how you handled the basket. Also, it developed tears on the sides below the top. I tried weaving a shoestring through it to hold it together, but that didn't work. I used the basket like this for a while until I got tired of being pinched by torn plastic.  

I've been thinking a lot about why I put up with that annoying basket for so long. In the beginning, it may have been about thriftiness, but that doesn't explain why I let it go as far as it did. Maybe it was from being raised by Depression Era parents or maybe it was from just plain simple inertia, but I think the basket represents a need for change in my life. I need to be proactive about changing the negative things in my life into positive ones. If I can do that, I think the quality of my life can change in a very positive way.

I'm going to start with simple things and hope I can build on those successes to then work on bigger issues. A few things that I can fix today are getting rid of the pinching clothes basket and the can opener that has never worked well. I can clean out the plastic-ware cabinet so I won't be annoyed by the containers that fall out every time I open it. I won't answer the phone if I don't want to talk and I'll turn off the news when they start talking about the same negative thing over and over. And the list goes on.

It all seems so simple. Why didn't I do it sooner?