Thursday, May 17, 2012

Money and Me

I have been dreaming of a big car for years now. Three, maybe four. Each year I would tell myself that if I saved just that much more this year, I would buy a fancy car next year. Each year I found a reason to delay gratification.

This year finally my old car has begun giving trouble. I am compelled to buy a new car. I test drive all the fancy ones I can think of, analyze financing options, read all reviews I can google. Finally I go ahead and buy - the most value for money car. The vehicle for the mass market. Effectively postponing my dream for a few more years. Why is this? Buying a reasonably expensive car won't put me in penury. It won't make me think twice before living like I already do - buying the stuff I do or eating at the places I want or going for the holidays I do. Why then this hesitation to splurge?

I think I define security by the money I have been able to salt away. Not for me confidence in my abilities to struggle along. Not for me a belief in tomorrow. I live and die by my excel sheet which tracks, super methodically, my finances. This is pathetic. Unfortunate, but true. I know of few people who are as systematic about this thing. Perhaps this is good. Perhaps my future will be nice and comfortable, or my kids will live well.

Or perhaps they won't care. Perhaps they won't want my money. Perhaps I will be too old to enjoy anything but sunlight and free television. Perhaps I will die reasonably young. All this will be for nothing. A waste.

Can I change my thinking? Or is it too late?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

A New Find

I recently read Alexander McCall Smith's 'The Right Attitude to Rain'. A beautiful book, describing a beautiful world. This was after I had read a book from the #1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by the same guy.

I particularly liked The Right Attitude to Rain's protagonist, Isabel Dalhousie, and the world she inhabits. Her problem (if it could be called that!) is that she thinks too much, and is a philosopher. A very gentle, benign, warm and moral person, in a world inhabited by similar such people, she often has deep and honest conversations with other people, and in the process discovers something new about herself or the world we live in. As a reader of these books, one often has epiphanies into one's own life and times.

At the end of the book, one cannot but feel a bit wistful about the world we inhabit vs. the world we could have inhabited! Here is to a lot more books by Alexander McCall Smith!