Awareness of matters financial, particularly if there is the realisation of trouble as well, often comes with a drive to reduce expenditure. What people normally cancel are what they consider to be ‘luxuries’ – keeping fit, attending courses and doing things that are not for utility but only pleasure fit the bill. I am not going to bore you by stating that we all have different ‘luxuries’; this is pretty obvious. What I am going to say is that everyone should keep at least three ‘luxuries’ – one from each group – irrespective of how serious things may be financially.
The three things I never gave up are: my gym membership, running races and learning new things. There is one mega reason for that: I am my biggest asset and these are my three ways to look after it. But let me go into a bit more detail.
Our life style has become very sedentary – we drive instead of walking or cycling; we have washing machines, vacuum cleaners, dishwashers and ready meals. I have made important changes in that I started cycling to work (had to up my life insurance though), I walk places and no ready meal has passed the threshold of my house for about a year and a half. As to the rest – yes, I have all time and effort saving gizmos. Apart from that my work is sedentary – mostly sitting in front of a computer screen, or pieces of paper. Working out in the gym keeps me fit – physically and mentally. That also means that I feel better and can be more productive.
Learning new things
Descartes said ‘I think, therefore I am’. I say ‘I learn, therefore I live’. Yes, it is that serious – I believe that if we stop learning we stop growing, and if we stop growing we stop living and start waiting… There are three ways to learn: from books, from other people and through other people. This is why I continue buying books, on top of borrowing from the library, I continue attending courses and I am working on cold-asking questions.
Running races is one of the things that ‘make my heart sing’. I love the whole thing: love training for races, love the morning of the race, love talking to people before the race, love the race itself and adore crossing the finish line and seeing the faces of my son and husband. I love the feeling of achievement and calmness that comes after finishing a marathon. I even love queuing for the loos: this is how much I love running races.
What are the three things that you do?