Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cheap Thrills...

Today I had a job interview and while it was for the program that I have spent the last 2 months volunteering 20 hours a week with I was still pretty nervous. Nervous enough in fact to on several occasions trip over my words and fill in the blanks with such eloquences as "um" and "eh" and "ahem." Despite these stumbles I think it went pretty well but two hours later I am still a little dizzy and nauseous from the experience. I am trying to think of things to take my mind off what I could have said differently. Go for a run? Well, yes. But I'm going to do that anyways today. Paint my nails? I just did that last night. Clean? Again? Do I have to? Read? Well that's a pretty good idea... but what if I want to get out of the house? Shop? OH MY GOSH YES THAT'S THE ANSWER! But wait... I think I've forgotten something. Oh that's right... what is that I spend 30-40 hours a week doing? Volunteering. What don't I have? A job. What should I absolutely not be doing? Shopping.

I have a consumption problem that I am pretty aware of. I have a love hate relationship with consumerism and I struggle with this. My recently intensified love affair with second hand shopping has helped assuage some of the guilt I associate with my love of things and the obtainment of said things but the guilt of spending money that for the most part I don't even have cannot be eased by simply buying things used. The only way to cure living beyond my means is to stop doing it. DO NOT SPEND. But even outside of standard consumerism it's difficult. My other interests require a certain amount of cash to make them possible. I have a running list of "when I finally get a job I will do..." Knowing that the job market is in the toilet and the social service positions that I am applying for don't even pay that well I need to keep the spirit of the here and the now alive and so I am trying to find creative ways to make these things happen without the job and thusly without the money.

When I Get A Job I Will...
1. Start back up with yoga.
Solution: Value Village happened to have a few exercise DVDs. I picked up a yoga one for a buck fifty. Drawbacks? Well I don't have a remote for my DVD player and the DVD won't function without one. So I have to set up my 12" computer in my living room and try to follow along while squinting from my downward dog. Verdict: This arrangement keeps the "om" moments a little fewer and farther between and since it's only one DVD there's no variety but it does get the job done.

2. Return to voice lessons / Buy a keyboard
Solution: I have started reserving music rooms at the Seattle Central Library to play piano and learn new music. I also bought an instrumental CD to play in the car (my favorite time to sing). Drawbacks? Ugh... well first there's a volume restriction at the library (go figure) so this keeps the diva from coming out. Second having to reserve a time to be creative can sometimes interfere with said creativity. Also the library is a hassle to get to. Nonetheless it's been nice to have a place to go. Verdict: Will do for now and it has definitely been a great reminder and renewal of an ignored passion.

3. Visit friends in far away places.
Solutions: I have realized that this notion is naive. When I have a job I will no longer have freedom to escape for days at a time. I am rethinking travel and what it means. I was graciously invited along on a road trip next week with my dear neighbor and am in the process of planning an Olympics Peninsula rustic get away. Verdict: Focusing on the company and the sights in my own Washington backyard as opposed to the accommodations and distance away from home is what traveling is now about.

4. Buy a bike with more than 3 speeds.
Solutions: After a little research, well more of a serendipitous meeting with a bike enthusiast, I have found out about a recycled bike shop in Portland that sells used road bikes for $75 and certified and inspected ones for a reasonable $250. Verdict: I still can't afford that. Oh well... in the mean time I can ride around the top of the hill and use my beach cruiser for grocery shopping.

I should use this new problem solving skill to figure out what to do with my post-interview afternoon. What am I going to do today as a little reward for a job medium-well done? As much as I would like to say "Buying that lovely pair of Emma Pillsbury-esque t-strap heels I saw while masochistically window shopping at Nordstrom the other days"... I am going to honor my limitations and act accordingly.
Solution: A rainy day run (let's not forget the marathon is three short months away), followed by a trip down to the 76 station to fill up on gas and practice singing Wicked's "For Good", returning home and lighting a decadent Voluspa candle (a vestige of my time as a sales associate at Anthroplogie), snuggling up and reading my newly arrived Journal of Gerontological Social Work, and topping it all of by cooking an economical dinner with friends.
Verdict: It will feel great to not have the too expensive (albeit completely adorable) pair of shoes tapping, nay stomping, their 3 1/2 inch heels and adjustable ankle straps against my conscious until I go insane which will force me ask the online Magic 8 Ball if I need to return them, which it will inevitably answer in the affirmative (the damn thing always tells me what I don't want to hear). Once I realize they must be returned in order to restore my peace of mind I will have to then make a return trip to Nordstrom tomorrow which quite frankly with all of my thrifty endeavors I do not have the time for.

Now it's time to a hitch the bus home and allow my afternoon of nearly free funtivities to commence.

Respectfully Yours,

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