Saturday, January 28, 2012

At 21, I'm at an age where I've started to figure out what my values are, and am trying very hard to live by them (idealistically and almost certainly naively, but that comes with the territory). It means that sometimes I find myself making choices that might seem sort of extreme, which is completely normal.

A decade from not I'll probably find myself with a more "mainstream" lifestyle (or the mainstream will change), giggling about the person I used to be. I'm fine with that, it's as it should be. But I'm not going to let it ruin the fun of this phase.

Right now I'm reading about handling money, because I realized that I know nothing about it (other than the very general "don't blow it all on candy and pretty toys," and "pay your bills on time").

The book, Your Money or Your Life defines money as "life energy" (which sounds cheesy, but really it's just trying to make you think about the time and energy they spend at work), and asks the reader to really think about what they value. What material objects are really worth the time and energy that goes into earning the money to buy them. The book also encourages the reader to take some time to write out a list of the things they value, so that spending habits can be better examined. This fueled a little writing session for me, as I thought about what I really want in my life.

I'm not comfortable sharing what I wrote, but here are the highlights:
  • Creativity is important to me. I'm happiest when I'm making things, so I want to spend as much time as I can making stuff. I don't care if it's a story, a drawing, a knit something, or just a decent loaf of bread. I want to share what I make with others, as gifts or whatever. And I don't care about the number of people I share with.
  • Being trustworthy/responsible. I want the people I care about to feel like they can count on me.
  • Being useful and active. Having a wide skill-set and working to the best of my ability. I like feeling capable.
  • Living up to my own values, even if it's difficult.
Everything else sort of falls under those 4 categories. As long as I'm living up to that, I'll be happy with my life. Everything else is just gravy :)

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