I think I join most of the world’s seven billion people tonight in expressing the following sentiment:
Austerity measures kind of suck.
I know this, personally, because it is my third day of pre-holiday austerity measures, and also my third night at home on the couch, watching bad television. Call me heroic, but in seventy-two hours, I have resisted three meals out, two peppermint lattes, a trip to the Monti, a new pair of jeans, and The Muppets. It’s all fine; I made oatmeal pancakes for dinner, and wrapped all my Christmas presents. I started a new honky-tonk song, which did not go all that well, and picked up the Keith Richards biography, which is pretty entertaining. I have watched no less then three Christmas specials. These are not hardships.
What worries me is this: what if I am using up all my willpower now? Before the holidays get dicey? Before my budget is stretched to the point of danger, and before I am tempted by the giant vat of toffee sitting next to the telephone in the office? I mean, the New York Times printed a whole article about it. Willpower is finite. We can be tempted beyond our abilities to resist, and can only be saved by an immediate intake of sugar.
Or not. This week the New York Times ran another article, which was even scarier. Now they’re saying we have exactly as much willpower as we think we do. Damn. Apparently I don’t just have to exert willpower. I have to manufacture it, and believe in it, and then effing use it. There goes the medicinal mid-afternoon-peppermint-latte. It’s just as well. With my austerity measures in place, I can’t afford it anyway.
Three nights of television really is my own fault, though. I could be doing all sorts of free and productive things: organizing my linen closet, making handmade Christmas gifts, or working on projects which would improve my lot in life. Failing that, I could at least be drinking wine in my living room with friends. The quietude will do me some good, though. There’s lots of noise and holiday cheer ahead. I’m saving up for it.