Monday, July 13, 2009

Small-Scale Hedonism

Having to live on a low budget sometimes is a very tedious affair. You start to envy those folks who don't seem to work hard (or at all) and have money to burn. But here's a little bit of wisdom I read in Teresa de la Parra's excellent novel "Iphigenia: Diary of a Young Lady Who Wrote Because She was Bored".

The theory is, that very rich people don't actually enjoy the expensive things they have, the good food and the hip interiors and all that - because they can have it all the time, and it seems normal, boring. They can't be excited by anything, because they have seen and had it all. And the worst part is, that they don't even realize that they suffer from boredom, the finest food and drinks may be flavorless to them but they hardly notice.
Think about it - your appartment right now might not seem very impressive to you, but even if there's nothing fancy about it, millions of people around the world would consider it pure luxury.

So here's my trick to get rid of those pointless pangs of jealousy of richer people:
Don't waste money on expensive luxuries or status symbols that don't mean anything to you personally. Why imitate vain people who don't even have enough of a taste of their own to get dressed without a stylist? Spend your money wisely, that is, on things that you really enjoy. Make a point of appreciating what you have. Share it with your friends.

Applying the above to the real world sometimes is hard. But I really believe that the key to being a happy budget hedonista is following your own style (because you cannot allow yourself to waste money on copying somebody else's and wouldn't be happy with it anyways) and really appreciating the glorious things that already surround you.

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