Well, letâ€™s see.
Today I sold 2 big plastic tubs of spinning fibers to a woman in Virginia, bringing me down to one big plastic tub of fiber. Suits me just fine: the stuff I sold was all relatively replaceable (a pound of white angora bunny fur, a couple pounds of suri alpaca, some silk, etc.) and I havenâ€™t been spinning much lately. I kept the truly rare stuff, the stuff I wouldnâ€™t be able to replace if I started spinning again.
My last yarn orders arrived â€“ 2 lbs of a beautiful pearly gray (â€œsilver foxâ€) cashmere/silk blend, 2 lbs of a noil-y silk/wool yarn in shades of blue and gray, 3 bags of variegated ribbon yarn, and some worsted weight angora yarn. Thatâ€™s it. Iâ€™m buying no more yarn this year, or until I run out, whichever comes first.
Iâ€™m considering extending my moratorium to fabric. I have lots and lots of it, and I donâ€™t sew that much outside of my AIDS Lifecycle costumes. In fact I am thinking of extending my moratorium to most craft supplies, but am being a bit cautious there. Right now Iâ€™m in a conservative phase. I know myself well enough to know that at some point Iâ€™ll get really into something (it doesnâ€™t matter what â€œsomethingâ€) and when the next big thing hits, Iâ€™ll go headlong into it. Iâ€™m not a fan of making New Yearâ€™s resolutions that Iâ€™m simply going to break, so I donâ€™t want to make one that isnâ€™t realistic. Still, it seems to fall in line with the general idea of â€œdonâ€™t buy lots of new stuffâ€.
Tonight Iâ€™m going to start working on developing a savings plan. For the past year, Iâ€™ve pretty much spent whatever I felt like whenever I felt like it, which I could pretty much get away with since I make a good bit of money and also get generous quarterly bonuses. However, most of my â€œbig-ticket itemsâ€ (like car insurance, holiday travel, gifts, and so on) got paid out of my bonuses, and Iâ€™d rather save those to pay down debt. So Iâ€™ve drafted a budget and am going to use multiple (free, high-interest) savings accounts at eTrade to automatically save for the big ticket items. One savings account per large expense, which sounds like a huge number except that there really arenâ€™t that many of them: auto insurance, auto repair, vacation/travel/holiday gifts, and personal training packages, among others. A small monthly withdrawal into each of those accounts, and Iâ€™ll automatically be saving, and since each savings account is earmarked for a specific kind of expense, the temptation to draw it down for another expense wonâ€™t be as strong.
I didnâ€™t come up with this idea, of course; Mike showed me the system heâ€™s using with ING Direct, and I liked it enough that Iâ€™m going to try copying it. Only Iâ€™ll probably use eTrade since I already have an account there due to Adobeâ€™s stock purchase plan.
Iâ€™ve made the difficult decision to give up my snakes. I have to get rid of Astarte because he and Isis canâ€™t share the same cage, and I donâ€™t have room for a second cage. It occurred to me at the same time that I havenâ€™t really enjoyed having snakes for a long time, probably five or six years, and as a result Isis and Astarte havenâ€™t really been getting the attention they deserve. So Iâ€™ve found someone who is very â€œintoâ€ reptiles (a former board member of the Bay Area reptile society) to take both of them. He comes by to pick them up on Saturday.
Iâ€™ve made the even more difficult decision to mothball the book. It belongs to a phase of my life that has now passed (or is passing), and I donâ€™t have enough interest in AIDS Lifecycle anymore to put the phenomenal effort into finishing it. I may write another book, but I wonâ€™t write this one. Next time I stick to â€œeasyâ€ stuff like regular fiction or straight-up nonfiction, not narrative nonfiction.
But I feel pretty liberated, all told. Itâ€™s a new year, and Iâ€™m going into a new phase of my life. Out with the old, in with the new. I donâ€™t know what comes next, but Iâ€™m looking forward to it.