So, I have a lot of things I could be spending money on right now.
1. New contacts. I am a big believer in using a product as long as humanly possible. That means I haven’t bought a new box of contacts in about a year. This is also very unhealthy for my eyes. Unfortunately, contacts are expensive.
2. Better Microsoft Word software. I’m stuck in the dark ages of Word 2003. I need at least 2007 in order to convert my manuscript to a PDF.
3. ISBN, bar code, copyright, etc…
4. New clothes that actually make me look like I’m 25 and not 17.
5. Leave-In conditioner for my haystack-dry hair.
6. Actual food and not a bunch of $2 microwave meals.
7. Medicine for my sore throat.
That’s just to name a few. Let’s face it. Life would be so much easier if we all had money. I’ve always found that weird, especially since theoretically, money only has value because we as a community believe it has value. A $20 bill is really just a piece of paper.
I’m going to stop right there, because I’m not writing this to go on some philosophical rant about the merit of the dollar. I’m writing it because I have a lot of things I will be investing in in the following weeks. I’ve already invested a lot of time and a little bit of money (for the website domain, printing off manuscripts, etc…) in my book and in my publishing company. With all that in mind, I realize I might have to sacrifice a few things. Contacts for example.
I have terrible eyesight. I’ve worn glasses since first grade, when my teacher discovered that I couldn’t see what she’d written on the blackboard. She would write down math problems on the board and we were all supposed to copy them down on our own little individual chalkboards, solve them, and then hold them up once they were finished. Well, I answered all my equations correctly, I just didn’t get the problems right.
Anyway, I grew up as a four-eyed little geek with frizzy hair, freckles, braces, you name it. Once I got contacts in high school, I started wearing them all the time. It got to the point where I would only wear my glasses if I was sick. Essentially, contacts = cute, glasses = not even trying. That mentality stayed with me throughout college and into adulthood.
I had planned on going to buy new contacts after work this afternoon. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that that’s $70 I could put to what I really want in life, and that is to publish my book. I have glasses that work just fine. I technically don’t need contacts.
One of my problems is whenever I have money, I tend to spend it on things I enjoy rather than practical things. Going to the movies, for instance. I’d so much rather go see a movie or take a day trip somewhere than buy new clothes. The clothes I already have fit me just fine. Why should I buy something new when I can wear what I already have? I think that particular way of thinking stems from my high school experience. I went to private school, so I always wore uniforms. By the time I got to college, clothes just really didn’t mean a lot to me. Still don’t. The problem with all of that is… I still dress like I did in college.
Alright, I’m not so sure if I’ve made the point I set out to make or not. I think it was that no matter what you do in life, you’re going to have to set priorities and make sacrifices in order to get there. Sacrificing the luxury of contacts isn’t really all that much, but I do feel a lot frumpier and less secure when I don’t wear them. I hate to say it, but people are a lot nicer to me when I wear my contacts and a little touch of make-up than when it’s just me and my glasses.
So yeah, this doesn’t really have all that much to do with writing or publishing. It’s just something that’s been on my mind.