When our priorities surprise us

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 Permalink

Last Thursday I wrote about success and happiness and shared a couple of quotes which made sense to me. I talked about ‘intuitive decision making’ which sounds very wanky, but really just means ‘going with your gut’.

I quoted Christie Inge and Kelly and Brooke from the Let It Be podcast – all of whom talked about the sense of discomfort when our choices aren’t aligned with our values or goals.

I’ve been thinking about this over the last few days. On a slightly less arcane scale.

I want this rug you see. Or mat. Whatevs. A big thing that goes on the floor.

chindi-trellis-indian-rug

I shared it on my FB page and everyone agreed they loved it and I was (yet again) filled with the knowledge that my taste is exquisite and revered by many. 😉

The point, however… was that I wanted it but couldn’t / shouldn’t buy it.

I’ve spent shitloads of money since buying my new place. I’d budgeted for some of it (new security door, septic tank check, lawn mowing and some handyman stuff). But some of it I hadn’t really predicted – new security lighting outside, pump fixed on water tank, outside of house cleaned. And the latest… airconditioning.

Because my house is one-storey and long my cooling and heating choices were many and complex. My study is at one end and bedroom the other. And the large living space in the middle. I considered ducted aircon (which I had in my apartment) but the price tag was exorbitant, so I’m going with one VERY big airconditioner in the living space. And it’s costing the equivalent of two flights to Europe.

It wasn’t until I’d said yes to the quote and ordered it that I considered that last fact.

I haven’t travelled for ages. I was working a lot at one point when I had the money… and then when I wasn’t working I could no longer afford travel. Post seachange, interstate travel or even weekends away have been off the table.

And now I’m working part-time, I look enviously at friends who jaunt about overseas, and attempt to remind myself of my fabulous work / life balance.

I still can’t afford a European holiday but as I fritter away the last remnants of my savings it occurs to me I ‘could’ have done without airconditioning and put that money towards my long-desired trip to Tuscany (the only place I actually want to go).

priorities

However, after more analysis I realised…. what I really want (what I really really want) is to be happy in my own space. And that means a cool (or warm in winter) and comfortable living environment. My dream of Tuscany can remain for another day.

It was a revelation which surprised me a little. I felt very adult-ish and shockingly responsible. (Although the over-analyser in me wondered if I was just being lazy and going with the familiar!)

Which brings me – eventually – back to the rug. It’s my birthday just after Christmas and – now I’m older and don’t care – my mother buys me a joint present. This year we’ve talked about her putting some money towards a Fitbit. It’s something I’ve talked about for ages as I’m not happy with the extent of my exercise, and my incidental exercise is atrocious.

However… I’m now rethinking that decision. The rug is about the same price. And would possibly last me longer. And bring me more happiness. I think.

Of course she may refuse to contribute to such a frivolous purchase, but…. it’s weird isn’t it, how our priorities change?!

(And yes, I realise I’m the queen of #firstworldproblems!) 

Do you sometimes surprise yourself when it comes to prioritising? Am I weird in putting housey stuff ahead of experiences or dreams?

As it’s Tuesday I’m linking up with Kylie Purtell for IBOT.

34 Comments
  • Vanessa
    November 22, 2016

    I don’t think air con is particularly adult. Not saying you’re not an adult, but it’s a large comfort factor and makes a very big difference to lifestyle quality.

    • Debbish
      November 22, 2016

      Oh yes, most definitely… that’s the weird thing for me – I’m putting my ‘home’ stuff way before anything else!

  • Jo
    November 22, 2016

    I don’t think you can put a price on comfort- yep, I’d be going with the air con & that very tasteful rug…

    • Debbish
      November 22, 2016

      Vanessa picked up on my ‘adulting’ comment and probably what I mean is that I feel very grown up, thinking more about my house and living environment than shorter-term enjoyment. Perhaps it’s just a sign that I’m a homebody and need to be comfortable in my own space!

  • Jane the Raincity Librarian
    November 22, 2016

    I think part of being a successful adult is being able to prioritise, as you say. Travel is really important to my partner and I, so we’ve made sacrifices in other parts of our life to make travel possible, and we plan our trips very carefully to make sure we maximise our meagre budgets. But, I have friends who would rather spend their money on a fancy car, or on designer handbags, or on a bigger home. It’s all about priorities and making grown-up choices, because unless you’re an eccentric millionaire, something’s got to give! 😉

    • Debbish
      November 22, 2016

      Very true and I guess it surprised me to see where my priorities lie. And the fact that I’d NEVER currently consider expensive overseas travel (although I’m going to NZ for 4 days in December!) to be an option financially… but I didn’t blink at the idea of finding several thousand for airconditioning. Which ‘may’ not even be an essential.

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    November 22, 2016

    I don’t think the rug is frivolous at all, because it’s going to bring you so much pleasure every time you look or step upon it! I think you’re right, part of being an adult (although my adulting leaves a lot to be desired,) is being able to prioritise your wants. I really, really want to renovate and really, really want a dog but at the end of the day, I really, really want to travel and have adventures so that’s where I’m splashing the cash. There’s no right way of wanting, it’s just that some wants you want more than others. Here’s to rugs, air con and Tuscany at some stage 🙂

    • Debbish
      November 22, 2016

      Yes… I suspect Tuscany can wait. There are a lot of places I haven’t been UK, US etc.. but I’ve little desire to travel there. Tuscany has – for some reason – been on my wish list!

  • Jess
    November 22, 2016

    I think it is a positive reflection of where you are at, that you are wanting to invest further into your comfort, style and lifestyle in your new place. You have had lots of big changes!

    • Debbish
      November 22, 2016

      True Jess and I’m definitely very much in nesting mode of late!!!

  • Jodi Gibson
    November 22, 2016

    Go with your gut! If that rug will make you feel you love where you live every day, go for it. I think if you’ve resisted the urge to buy it, and it is still something you think about then it’s a good buy. I did that with a dress recently. I saw it (and I’m only talking a cheap $20 k-mart dress!), and I thought, I really like it, but I don’t really need it, and walked away. For the next couple of weeks I kept thinking about that dress. Then the other day, I walked past it again, checked that they had my size, which they did and bought it. It’s my favourite dress!

    • Debbish
      November 22, 2016

      I did that with some shoes recently Jodi. I buy a new pair of shoes each summer usually and I’d already bought mine this summer but I LOVED these platform shoes that were too expensive and frivolous… although I didn’t really have shoes to wear for work (as I’d NOT bought shoes for a few years when I wasn’t working). And two months after I put a ‘I WANT THESE’ picture on Instagram they were on special so I bought the damned things.

  • pamela007
    November 22, 2016

    No, I don’t think you’re weird putting ‘housey’ stuff ahead of experiences and dreams, because getting your home as you want it is also part of your dream. Plus you can sit back with a glass of wine and admire your haven. Travel will come later.

    • Debbish
      November 22, 2016

      That’s true Pam. I guess I’m just surprised by the realisation that ‘home’ means so much to me. I’ve been like this before, but not for a while.

  • Sue
    November 22, 2016

    That rug is YOU … go for it! Tuscany can be enjoyed at a later age & I’m not sure a Fitbit will change your fitness regime that much (sorry maker of Fitbit ). You may even RESENT the Fitbit if you don’t get the RUG

    • Debbish
      November 22, 2016

      True! I could rebel against the fitbit and move even LESS!!!!

  • nicolethebuilderswife
    November 22, 2016

    I am all for making the everyday easier and more comfortable and if that means a rug and air conditioning then that sounds like a great choice to me!

    • Debbish
      November 22, 2016

      Oh I’m getting more and more tempted by the rug…. And hopefully I’ve done the right thing re the airconditioning. I’ve been having second thoughts since initially saying yes…. wondering if I DO really need it and whether the money would be better spent elsewhere etc… (Or saved for emergencies!)

  • Janet Camilleri
    November 22, 2016

    I love the rug and would do whatever it took to make it mine! We have 5 – count them 5 – air conditioners scattered throughout the house. Window mounted ones in son’s room, our room, media room, and my office (tacky tacky) and a big split system in the kitchen/dining/family room. And I *love* them. Despite living in Queensland all my life I really can’t handle the heat and humidity and I swear it’s getting worse over the years (or maybe that’s just me getting older). We did think about replacing them all with ducted but a. expensive to instal and b. expensive to run. Miss 20’s boyfriend’s family rarely put theirs on so what’s the point in having it?! I don’t know how anybody can live without air conditioning in Queensland. When I was visiting my friend in Christchurch one winter many years ago, she was telling me about her astronomical heating bills – one month’s power bill equivalent to three for me. But they just had to have it. I think we are the same here in Qld only with cooling. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. And I think I need to turn this into a post for my blog now it’s turned into an essay!!!!! LOL.

    Visiting today from #teamIBOT x

    • Debbish
      November 23, 2016

      I’ve had aircon in my last two places. My little flat on the beach had ducted aircon which was fine there as the space wasn’t particularly big, but this place is very long. I had two options (about $500 difference) between two sizes of aircon. One he thought would easily do the big living space and start to reach down the corridors and the bigger one should do the whole place. Mostly. I almost went for the less-expensive option and then thought I could put a smaller aircon at on or both ends, but ended up deciding to go with the bigger one and hoping it suffices. So far there’s only been one maybe two days that it’s either been too windy or there’s been no wind.

  • loulouloves
    November 22, 2016

    OMG you totally made the right decision. No A/C would drive you insane. Tuscany can wait for a little while longer for sure…

    • Debbish
      November 23, 2016

      My place gets really good breezes (as I’m on a hilltop Lou Lou) but… too much wind and I can’t open the windows and too little wind and… well… the fans might not suffice.

      In reality I think I’ll appreciate the heating more than the cooling as my ceilings are really high and it’s all tiled so I think it’ll be cold in winter!

  • Emma
    November 22, 2016

    Living in England I don’t quite get air-con (though I did when we were in the states in August!) but if it’s hot and you want it and you can afford it then you should get it. Life is too short to not be comfortable living it. Plus your home should be a haven and if making it cooler makes you happier in it go for it. And the rug. And then the fit bit (spoken by a woman who hates exercise!).

    • Ruth Hillman-Booth
      November 23, 2016

      I somehow missed the original FB post, but I *love* this rug. It is totally you.

      #fingerscrossed your Mum is happy to go in for the rug… Perhaps one of your BFFs *cough, cough* would be willing to go in with you for either of the presents for your birthday *cough, cough* . And then you could be Fitbit friends and encourage each other to meet your daily goal *cough, cough* (which Fitbit are you looking at btw?)

      You could also make a pact with the BFF to go to Tuscany together when you’re little old ladies

      • Debbish
        November 23, 2016

        I think mum will be okay with whatever I choose. She knows how obsessive I can be. A few places actually sell the rug. I’ve attempted to compare prices a little but have only seen it in a larger size elsewhere and other versions have more ‘cane’ woven through.

        As for the Tuscany thing…. I think I’ve told mum, but I tend to think I’ll head there and stay a while after mum’s gone. I think I’ll need some consolation knowing I’m now alone in the world etc… I daydream about living there for a while.

    • Ruth Hillman-Booth
      November 23, 2016

      Emma, imagine life in the UK without central heating.

    • Debbish
      November 23, 2016

      In reality I could just get some cheap pedometer to count my steps Emma cos it’s only when others talk about their steps I realise how few I do. Though I’m better now I’ve lost some weight… more mobile.

      But it gets really hot and humid in Queensland so aircon is important. It’s ‘reverse cycle’ so heats and cools so I can use it for our not-so-freezing winters as well!

  • Jan Wild
    November 23, 2016

    I think you have been very adult in being clear on what your priorities are. It is only when we can each determine what expenditure has real value for us that we feel OK about the money we have (or don’t have). As you say Tuscany will still be there and there is no point lying awake at night sweltering and wondering why you didn’t put in the aircon. Enjoy it!

  • Kooky Chic
    November 23, 2016

    That rug is not frivolous. Every time you see it, walk on it and feel it beneath your feet it will give you joy. I say buy it. It’s glorious. As for the Fitbit, only you can make yourself get out and exercise, not some crappy little device that will end up in your bottom drawer. This sounds like a rant but I’m trying to persuade our 11 year old she doesn’t need one either 🙂

  • divabooknerd
    November 23, 2016

    Oh gosh, I want one of those rugs now too. Adulting isn’t easy, for me I had to learn to prioritise too and it’s so much harder than it sounds. Living in Australia without an air con is horrible and I know it sounds a little too first world problem, but we need those small luxuries that help make life comfortable and I’m glad you splurged a little. But that rug! I’m going to be thinking about the rug all night now. For me, I’d prefer the rug rather than a fitbit. A rug will always bring you joy to see, but technology is always changing and practically outdated as soon as it’s purchased. For that rug, I’d rather count steps in my head 😀

    • Debbish
      November 24, 2016

      I guess one of the things this all brought up for me Kelly was the fact I’m constantly revisiting my priorities!

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