The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy!
I’m just now finishing up reading my long awaited library copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies which is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. It has all the subdued strong emotion of Jane Austen’s original classic, but with “ultraviolent zombie mayhem.”
A perfect combination.
The book got me started thinking about pride, and the role it plays in my life. Pride is utterly important as well as being a complete barrier to my non-consumer lifestyle.
For example, I take a lot of pride in my home. I am very deliberate in how it is presented, both decoratively and as a place of welcome. This is not to say that I am a Katy tidy-mouse, but I do want the house to impress. The satisfaction in being able to pull together a somewhat sophisticated decor on a dime is prideful. I am aware that being willing to live in a home with a hodge-podge of free furnishings and belongings would be much more practical and inexpensive.
But I have too much pride for that.
On the other hand, I do a lot of things that others would consider beneath them. My mother owns a couple of guest cottages here in Portland, and I frequently assume the role of cleaning lady between tenants. Usually I do this for free, but she paid me this last time as she knows I am saving for my son’s upcoming class trip to Japan.
I have no problem lending a hand with housekeeping duties, and my favorite part is gleaning all the leftover food that people leave behind. And I’m not just talking about sealed goods either. This last cleaning gig provided me with:
- Most of a half-gallon of fat free milk
- An avocado
- A peach
- Most of a jar of organic blackberry jam
- Most of a package of frozen vegetarian chicken nuggets
- Most of a package of organic tater-tots
Keep in mind that these foodstuffs are from people my mother knows, and that despite being a nurse I am about the least germ-a-phobic person I know.
I also sorted through the somewhat moist recycling bin for returnable bottles and cans. I was able to pull out five dollar’s worth to trade in at my local Safeway.
I am willing to do what others might consider beneath them. I will reach under the Coinstar machine if I see a dime, and I will paw through recyclables to make $5. And if a tenant shows up early to find me scrubbing out a toilet, I keep it to myself that I’m a labor and delivery nurse, not a Merry Maid.
Not so prideful.
Much of what is necessary to live a frugal life is near to impossible if one is unwilling to let go of prideful notions. Buying used, accepting hand-me-downs and being willing to say no to expensive family traditions can be a difficult step for many people.
To live a life without pride would be a difficult life indeed, but a life with excessive pride can lead to living beyond your means and an inability to make changes when an economic downturn occurs.
So take note Mr. Darcy, just make sure to keep an eye out for zombies, a.k.a., the manky dreadfuls.
Is pride keeping you or someone you love from living within your means? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
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