It is time to relinquish the golden handcuffs. Oh how I am ready for them to be gone. But, before I take the handcuffs off, J and I must learn to live on less. We must learn to keep an eye on how much our daily lives cost and where our money goes. At this point, I have a pretty good idea of where most of our income goes (both discretionary and non), but this is our first month really trying to keep an eye on the spending. We are going to try the staples: eat out less, cook at home more often, but J and I will both have to work to cut back on certain things.
For me, its books. I love books. I love the weight of a hardback book and the crisp sound of opening the cover. I love dog-earring the pages, and looking back at the end of the book to see that some days I read pages upon pages and then the next I barely managed to read two before having to put it down again. I have a hard time separating from the books I love. I feel like they have become a piece of me (Little Women, Jany Eyre, a few poli-sci books from college). I silently (or very loudly) curse my difficulty in letting them go when we move every few years.
My love of books is nothing new. The summer between my fourth and fifth grade year, I would get up early in the morning with my mom. She would put on her uniform (I believe it was BDUs at that point), I would pile into the car and we would head over to post. She would drop me at the post library, and I would spend a glorious morning reading whatever I desired. I would plow through books about animals (a couple that raised a polar bear cub) and children's series (there was one about a nanny or maid who inspected things with white gloves). Toward the end of the morning, I would pick out a few books and check them out. Then, I would head over to my mom's office and we would grab lunch together. Having lunch with my mom during the week was special because it was such a rare occurence, and most importantly it was time that I had her all to myself. After lunch, she would set me loose on post once again. Most days, I would find a tree to climb. I would perch myself with a book and soda and read until it was time to go home. Those were wonderful days: special time with my mom and a day of reading by myself (and climbing trees).
Fast forward twenty years: I love books and can always find an excuse to justify purchasing a book. Pregnant? Lots of books to read. New baby? Even more. Considering different sleep solutions? Oh so many books to read. Working motherhood? How many can I read in a day? And now that I have a kindle and nook on my iphone, buying books has become that much easier. During my maternity leave, I discovered that I could hold W with one hand and read a book on my iphone with my other. It was bliss and I flew through books (Bossypants was a high point.) So cutting back on purchasing books will be a tough one for me. Maybe its time I find the library once again.