Every single month I say “I’m not shopping this month because I really want to save”. That is, until I find myself wandering into H&M and spotting that peachy pink silk slip dress that from that moment on, I simply can’t imagine life without.
Before payday I always think about all the things I won’t buy, and all the clever ways in which I’ll “manage my money” this time around. I even find myself thinking things like “things won’t make you happy”, “minimalism is the way to go” and “capitalism, I won’t be part of your system!”.
Then, payday comes. I jump out of bed as if I’ve been injected with unicorn blood, vivacious with a new found joie de vivre.
But as a stone rolls down a hill I find myself, every time, falling into the same traps.
So why don’t we stop ourselves from doing “stupid” things?
Just the other day I said to my colleagues: “I know I’m going to be hungover tomorrow.”
Pre-empting this sleep deprived, dehydrated, head-ached state, I still somehow felt powerless to stop it. Not because I couldn’t avoid drinking at the party that night, but because I didn’t want to.
Maybe, because it was worth it?
Is that not what doing stupid things are all about, doing something dumb because it’s fun at the time? It’s instant gratification, often with very few long lasting rewards.
And then we feel sorry for ourselves when the consequences of our actions aren’t favourable. It’s like enjoying a jumbo Snoekies fish and chips and then being surprised that you have heartburn afterwards.
Hungover after drinking too much, broke after shopping too much, gained weight after eating too much – there should be no surprise.
When we ditch gym in favour of after work drinks with friends, or choose to go to bed after 2am on a school night because that episode of Westworld is just so good, we avoid making calculated, organised, budget-friendly options more often than not, because ultimately a deviation from the “plan” is what helps us cope with the rest.
With so many rules, so many suggested lifestyle trends to follow, so many deranged politicians forced down our throats, and so, so many people to please every day – we need everyday “rebellions” to survive mentally.
And who decided what “a perfectly balanced life” looks like anyways? Just stay off meth, try not to murder anyone, and you should be fine.