Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Frugality & Luxury . . .

Are generally not two words that go together . . .

Recently, on a newly discovered blog (Nature Mom's Blog: A Guide to Natural Family Life), I read an excellent book review of Tracey McBride's book Frugal Luxuries: Simple Pleasure to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul.

I borrowed the book from the library and while I've only read a little bit, I really love the message of this book. A lot of what the book says is how I already live my life but McBride has laid out the philosophy behind frugality in plain and direct terms that I have never really intensely thought about. So while I was just browsing, I realized that even if I have triple the amount of money I have now, I would still enjoy being frugal. I've always thought to myself, "I don't need to be rich . . . I'm not trying to be rich" not in a defeatist way as if I don't deserve to be rich or have a poor person's mentality. But, as India Arie mentions in her song "There's Hope" the more money you have, the more complicated things get. And honestly, I love simplicity and a simple life. What I want is to have enough to be able to take care of myself and my family well and a little extra. From the book . . . Being frugal is not being miserly. It's appreciating the time it took to make something, using money wisely and diligently, finding beauty and satisfaction in the simplest things like a freshly made bed, newly set table, or just vacuumed rug or a field of dandelions on a bright sunny day when your allergies are under control.

Being frugal, to me, is one of the best effects and manifestations of santosha (contentment) in my life. It is, simply put, maximizing my current circumstances.

At the thrift store the other day, I found a pale pink cashmere turtleneck sweater. The ticket said that the sweater should have already been 1/2 off. I found a small hole in it and I got the sweater for $0.49. A cashmere sweater for $0.49! Now, I plan to wear the sweater underneath a lightweight silk blouse or cotton shirt so you'd never see where I stitched up the hole. But I'll be wearing pretty pink soft, very warm cashmere against my skin. Even if I had $60 to spend on a cashmere sweater, I wouldn't. That's frugal luxury to me.

It's interesting when your own personal philosophy is described in written form and only then do you realize that it is your philosophy and it is important, no crucial, to who you are. In thinking about the coming changing times, I'm glad this philosophy is mine and I want to be an encouragement to those around me . . . we don't need to buy more to have more. If we assimilate that idea now, when we can't buy more, we'll be just fine.

Photo Credit: "field of dreams" by plousia on


Miriam said...

That's beautiful!

Tracey McBride said...

I was browsing through blogs this morning and a muse brought me to your lovely site. I started reading your great post about enjoying the frugal luxuries in your life and...of course...the pink cashmere sweater (.49 cents, that is wondrous)! How wise you are to recognize the value of simplicity and appreciating what we have. (As opposed to getting caught-up in, what my dad calls, the "I wants".)
Thank you so much for sharing your philosophy and for the kind mention of my book! I appreciate it so much.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


ASHAKI said...

I too have been reading your blogs....they are so interested to say the very least... Give thanks for sharing your self with INI ( am going to check this book out) & light

Chi-Chi, The Original Wombman said...

Miriam, thanks!

Tracey, wow, I'm honored that you'd stop by and comment on my blog. Thank you for writing your book and I wish you many blessings!

Quanton, I'm glad you enjoy reading what I write! I do hope you continue reading.

Ashaki, give thanks. Perfect Love!

foreverloyal said...

Hey, a cashmere sweater is one of the items on Tim Gunn's "must have" fashion list for every woman.

Maybe I'll get lucky and get one on sale, I just can't imagine ponying up full price. I have to find one and see what it feels like, anyway.

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