Sunday, August 2, 2009

Money Can't Buy Happiness...

But it can buy a shit-ton of other stuff!

I've been on a weird spending spree of late. I don't often spend a great deal of money at one time or on myself. This isn't to say I don't treat myself regularly or buy the best "whatever" that I can afford; I do. I make pretty good money and have no one other than myself on whom to spend it. Oh and that giant piggycat, but really, she's happy with the boxes that my stuff comes in, so I don't spend a lot on her.

Lately though, like within the last 2 to 3 weeks, I've been going NUTS buying shit. I've recently purchased 8 movies, 3 tv series, a robot vacuum (for the *truly* lazy), 5 pairs of shoes (because the 46 I already own are not enough. No, I'm not kidding. I really have 51 pairs of shoes now. All in their boxes, labeled and neatly stacked), hundreds thousands of dollars worth of new clothes, a knife holder shaped like a body (awesome find, Rusty, thanks!) and a new video game disc for a video game console I never use. WTF?

Obviously, I'm overcompensating for something lacking in my life. I'm trying to buy a life. I used to spend money on trips and nights out. I used to go to the movies and dinner and football games and local concerts. I used to do all of these things when I was with someone. Since I've been alone, I go home after work and turn on the tv and the computer. I watch movies I've seen before because I hate watching new movies alone. I have no one to talk about them with. (Yes, I ended a sentence in "with". Suck it.) I don't seem to really cook anymore because cooking for one is a chore and leaves me with entirely more food than I need. And I don't really go anywhere because suddenly, I've developed some weird agoraphobic tendencies that I never had before. I get freaked out and anxious if I go someplace new.

This is turning out WAY whinier than I intended. I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining, I absolutely am not! In fact, what came to me was that it's time to STOP whining. To stop sitting around with a "woe is me" attitude and do something about it. I need to metaphorically and um, phorically? clean out my closet. Dump the shoes and clothes and memories that don't fit any longer. Clear out the clutter in my home and in my brain.

Some opportunities are coming up at work and maybe I need to go back to school? I also need to use the networking tools at my disposal and expand my business and personal connections. Maybe I need to try online dating while I'm at it? I don't know. What I *do* know is that I've let my life become stagnant and have embraced my inner-slacker too much. It's time to stop buying my life and instead make my life.

Any suggestions, tips or personal anecdotes you can share to help me get started?


Sean said...

I'm not sure what it is that you need to motivate yourself, but the first step to getting your life moving is certainly just getting out there and doing something you love.

Though we've been in Marietta for three months now, my wife and I had been pretty isolated. We go out to dinner, and the movies, and do stuff together, but we hadn't really met anybody else to hang out with. As much as we love each other's company, things can get pretty tedious when you don't have any friends. It was about three weeks ago when I finally got tired of not playing volleyball all summer, so I grabbed my ball (hold the innuendo) and drove--by myself--to a local park. I happened to pick the right evening, and met some really good people who play every week. It turns out that the couple who organizes the game have a lot in common with us, and when I finally got my wife to come to v-ball with me, everybody really hit it off. We went out with them on Friday for drinks and had a great time; it was really nice to be out with other people again.

So, basically, this whole meandering story boils down to this: all of that was made possible because I showed up to a park alone and sat and watched until somebody asked me to join a volleyball game. You've just gotta pick something you love and get up and do it.

I hope this helps, somehow. My writing sucks this evening. If you get bored of your DVDs and 'puter, hop on 77 some weekend and pay the 'Etta a visit for a change of scenery.

Sean said...

Also, in less-helpful news...we shop a lot, too. Having had no friends, we find that we need to be less thrifty with our money. It doesn't do either of us any good to be sitting around thinking how much you'd like to have something when there's nothing to do.

Rusty said...

As someone who currently has no social life, no car, and no source of income, I'm having a little trouble working up sympathy ; ) Kidding. Mostly.

Best you can do is try and find reasons to leave the house. Go to the library instead of the book store and see if they have a book club you can join. Or head out to do your web surfing at a coffee shop and see if they have any advertisements for yoga classes, dance classes, etc. anything that seems like it might be fun and let you meet new people. And sign up for a free internet dating trial just to see how it goes, there's really nothing to lose except some monthly fees but since you're burning through money anyway I suppose that's not a huge problem.

And I'm super jealous you were able to just up and buy that knife set. I'm trying to talk my mom into getting it for my birthday later this money due to lack of funds.

Lizzie said...

I know how you're feeling, that weird stagnation and lack of social goings on. On the other hand, I'm not making good money right now, so I really can't afford to do much to change that.

I have absolutely no advice or suggestions or anything, so I'll just second what Sean said.

Anna von Beaverplatz said...

Ack! I feel you with the money spending thing. This is why I have a gazillion dollars in credit card debt (seriously, I'm pretty sure I am never going to dig my way out of that hole) and so much crap in my house it'd be easier to burn it down than to move. Not that I even have that option, since I rent (and the landlord said, "I have only one rule: Don't burn the house down."). I've managed to curb new spending pretty well recently, only buying clothes when I need them, but DVDs.... I just can't stop. It's like an addiction.

As far as the getting out thing, I HIGHLY recommend school. I love it so so much. I was nervous before I started, worried about being the "old lady" in all my classes, but at the community college, there were people there older than me. Night classes were a great mix of people with all kinds of backgrounds, which is a great way to meet people, both for networking and for friending. Bonus: brain gets smarter!

I keep thinking I should take up bowling. I have no idea why. I have literally bowled one time in my life, when I was 12.

Lainey said...

Hey guys! Nice to see new faces here. Thanks so much for coming by & for your thoughtful comments!

Sean - You're absolutely right. I need to find something that really excites me and just go do it. I admire that you knew what you wanted and found a way to make it happen. I'm really glad, too, that you and your wife may have found some nice friends in the process! And it does help to remember that I'm not alone. There *are* other people in Ohio who don't have kids and are smart & funny! I'm not sure where Marietta is, but maybe one day I'll use that GPS thing I bought and head down that way.

Rusty - I hope I didn't sound like I was complaining - "aww, poor, little rich girl has too much money" - SOOO not my intention! You bring up a very good point. I need to find reasons to leave my house. I usually go the opposite direction and try to find ways to NOT leave my house and obviously, that ain't working so well. And I might sign up for the internet dating thing. Best case, I find someone I really like. Middle case, I have good blog fodder. Worst case, I wind up in someone's basement and then I'll really have something to whine about!

Lizzie - Wouldn't life be great if you could approach people like when we were kids? "Hi, I'm Lainey. Do you want to play?"

AvB - I know I've said this 933 times, but seriously, sometimes I get concerned that you don't actually exist and you're just me posting under a different name! I always say it would be easier to burn the place down than to move AND I say that that's the one thing my landlord said I'm not allowed to do! Ugh, school. My boss would be THRILLED if I went, but I just hate studying soooooo much! I don't know. It's something to think about & it's not out of the question. Yeah, I'm not doing bowling. I have Wii Bowling, that's as close as I'm getting. =)

Girl With Curious Hair said...

I have recently gone overboard. I needed some things. But I didn't just get a couple of ordinary things--oh no, I went crazy and bought fancy, frilly French things. I say this because sometimes it's necessary to go overboard--therapeutic even.

But I have some ideas: travel. Join a tour group or go someplace a little familiar (like San Diego :D). Maybe plan a road trip with some friends driving up the 101 (starting in San Diego). You'll meet some great people. I think classes would be a good idea as well. Take them for pass/fail or audit so you don't have to worry about grades.

Big Daddy said...

Sorry - I don't have any good advice - everyone else has it covered. But the knife set - - - I love it!

Lainey said...

Girl - If I can get over my hatred of flying, that's a great idea! I'm planning to go to New Orleans (hopefully in October even though jamiepants thinks I'm all talk) and if that goes well, I may need to head back to the West Coast to visit old friends & meet new ones!

Big Daddy - I really wanted to buy the red one because it was SO bright & garish, but I went with the green because it'll go better in my kitchen and because when I start dating again, it might help if I don't look like a total psycho right away.

Sofi said...

I'm late for the party, but I'd suggest doing something you've always wanted to do. In my case, it was learning how to play guitar. I've been having a blast since then.

In the end you have to put meaning into things. Your life has to mean something to you, and as long as the things you're doing help you accomplish that, then I'd say you're in the right track. It's pretty generic advice, I know, but it's kinda true.

onthevirg said...

Buy a bike (since you're already on a spending spree), do some riding, join a club. You'll get to meet some other people and get out of the house. Added bonus? Exercise!

Pants said...

I'm with onthevirg, joining a sports club or team is a great way to make new friends (bepeniled or otherwise). Internet dating might feel slightly scary, but I know several normal, funny and yes, attractive people who've tried it and who now are very happy with the people they've met online.

But good on ya for letting go of the hurt and self-pity! Saving those pennies for a ticket to Dutchland remains an option though, just sayin'...

onthevirg said...

I actually forgot to mention re: the internet dating thing. That's how M and I met and we've been together almost 10 years now. So it can work. Plus, think of some of the great stories you'll be able to tell us about the experience!