The Good News about Vacuuming & Spending Money

Really. It occurred to me today, while vacuuming our house for the millionth time (with two large dogs and a farm, ideally I vacuum downstairs every day . . . in reality every few days), that having to vacuum is a really good sign. Not only is it a sign that we’re alive, we beings who live and sleep and eat and make messes here. We’re alive, and also, the laws of the universe are still working! Even if we were gone, dust would fall, rain would fall, spiders would spin webs, on and on . . . having to clean up is a sign that even gravity still functions. Good stuff.
On another random note, I’ve been thinking about spending money. Or rather, I have been spending money, and not feeling guilty about it, which is rather unusual for me. Partly, I think it’s linked to the fact that I’m doing a lot of the work outside the home these days, which unconsciously makes me feel more like I can spend money on things like new clothes (truly, I bought some clothes that weren’t from thrift store for the first time in years). I didn’t realize it until I started working outside the house more, but I think I felt like part of my job as a homemaker was to spend as little money as possible, particularly on myself. So interesting.
I’m also feeling more and more these days, that spending money at some local shops I love is so important. Mostly, I just don’t like buying anything. Ever. Truly, I always secretly hope that items like clothes or towels or appliances will just last forever, but the truth is that they don’t. Well-made items, treated with love, can last a long, long time, but everything decays eventually. I’m realizing that my resistance to buying new things is partly just my resistance to not being in control of the universe – silly, but true.
I know we’ve all seen so many small businesses vanish these past years – in Amherst, Food for Thought Books is teetering on the edge of collapse, which is an important reminder for me that it’s not enough to support a business in spirit – you have to actually go and spend money there. So I am letting myself go out a little more, to the bookstore, the garden store, the clothing store. I bought some earrings, and a futon cover that I’ve been wanting for about ten years. Big steps, for me.
This year, we’re spending a very large amount of money putting in a big solar panel system. We could have chosen to put that money (from a grandparent who passed away) into a retirement account, or the stock market, or used it to overhaul our ridiculous fixer-upper house, or something. We’re putting up racks with solar panels, enough to cover over 90% of our annual use. Our heater system got a broken part last week, and instead of repairing the old inefficient system, we’re planning to switch over to a heat exchanger that heats water, plus will be a back-up heater for the house (we mostly heat with wood), and provide ac if we need it in the summer. Pretty amazing, the technology that is available now. Usually, the thought of replacing the heating system would give me the heebie jeebies just on general principle, but currently I’m finding myself glad – how lucky, to give money to companies developing such great technology, and to move ourselves into a smaller energy footprint. Lucky, indeed.
Wishing you a lovely week, friends. May you enjoy spending a little money at a business you love, and possible even the vacuuming.

5 Responses to “The Good News about Vacuuming & Spending Money”

  1. 1
    Jo

    And one more thing…you spent money on that haircut and it is AWESOME!!!
    Thank goodness people spend money going out to eat at places they love, places that create food with integrity, otherwise we would both be out of business.
    xoxo

  2. 2

    I had that very same thought when I inherited some money a few years back. I spent some of it on solar panels. And I also agree that if we don’t support wonderful little businesses then they will disappear. I’m very careful where I spend my money. It’s not that I don’t want to spend it but rather that it is spent with mindfulness. I used to see something that I’d like and think that I would make it myself, now I think no I will buy it and support someone who is trying to make a living selling it. I’ve realised that I don’t have to do it all, and that it’s OK to spend if it’s something I really want/need.
    PS that is a beautiful photo of you and your son.

  3. 3

    Lol, thanks sweetie!
    Love,
    Ahah

  4. 4

    Kate,
    Perfectly said! Yes, I used to think I had to make all our handknits, or do without. Now I make what I can, and get this rest on Etsy, supporting another wonderful person.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Adrie

  5. 5

    Oh Adrie, I just wrote a bit about money today too:)
    Yes, I so enjoy supporting local small businesses because that means I am supporting a family, usually. Or I am supporting somebody who is gifted in some handwork, for example, and by buying from them, they can continue to earn a living from the work of their hands.
    I have been working on changing my mind about spending too (at least just a little).


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