Well, let’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 haven’t been spinning much lately. I kept the truly rare stuff, the stuff I wouldn’t be able to replace if I started spinning again.
My last yarn orders arrived – 2 lbs of a beautiful pearly gray (“silver fox”) 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. That’s it. I’m buying no more yarn this year, or until I run out, whichever comes first.
I’m considering extending my moratorium to fabric. I have lots and lots of it, and I don’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 I’m in a conservative phase. I know myself well enough to know that at some point I’ll get really into something (it doesn’t matter what “something”) and when the next big thing hits, I’ll go headlong into it. I’m not a fan of making New Year’s resolutions that I’m simply going to break, so I don’t want to make one that isn’t realistic. Still, it seems to fall in line with the general idea of “don’t buy lots of new stuff”.
Tonight I’m going to start working on developing a savings plan. For the past year, I’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 “big-ticket items” (like car insurance, holiday travel, gifts, and so on) got paid out of my bonuses, and I’d rather save those to pay down debt. So I’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 aren’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 I’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 won’t be as strong.
I didn’t come up with this idea, of course; Mike showed me the system he’s using with ING Direct, and I liked it enough that I’m going to try copying it. Only I’ll probably use eTrade since I already have an account there due to Adobe’s stock purchase plan.
I’ve made the difficult decision to give up my snakes. I have to get rid of Astarte because he and Isis can’t share the same cage, and I don’t have room for a second cage. It occurred to me at the same time that I haven’t really enjoyed having snakes for a long time, probably five or six years, and as a result Isis and Astarte haven’t really been getting the attention they deserve. So I’ve found someone who is very “into” 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.
I’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 don’t have enough interest in AIDS Lifecycle anymore to put the phenomenal effort into finishing it. I may write another book, but I won’t write this one. Next time I stick to “easy” stuff like regular fiction or straight-up nonfiction, not narrative nonfiction.
But I feel pretty liberated, all told. It’s a new year, and I’m going into a new phase of my life. Out with the old, in with the new. I don’t know what comes next, but I’m looking forward to it.