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
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 Flickr.com