Back in 2009, my laptop died. I was in my first year back at university; I have a BBus and worked in marketing in PR before returning to university to do the qualifications necessary to teach. I was on the bones of my bum financially and managed to con my parents into very generously buying me a birthday/Christmas present of a MacBook Pro. Fast forward six years later and it’s amazing to think how many major life changes that laptop has accompanied me through… but unfortunately, it was starting to show. So a couple of weeks ago, after socking away money each pay day, I pulled the trigger and bought a new MacBook Air.
I find it very hard to treat myself. I’m not sure whether it’s a hangover from being a student for so many years of my adult life (5.5 years between the ages of 18-30) or what, but I have a ridiculous tendency to “make do”, even when it makes my life more difficult. Until I started at the gym, my only pair of “proper” lace-up sneakers (I tend to live in Skechers GoWalks for work but they aren’t really gym shoes) were a pair of cross-trainers of my mums that I commandeered after she passed away. They did the job, albeit not that well, and so I didn’t invest. Likewise, for the last year my computer has been lagging something chronic but I did nothing about it. It wasn’t dead, so it was hard to prioritise the spend.
Doing that serves absolutely no one. Using bulky, old sneakers is going to make me less likely to go to the gym. Using a computer that lags and freezes is going to make me less likely to write. Neither expense is huge and both have the capacity to drastically improve my experience (of the gym, of writing, of life). It’s really made me think lately about each purchase I make and whether it brings me joy. My gym membership that comes out each week? Hell yeah. New clothes that make me feel comfortable yet sexy in my mum-bod? Yes, bringing joy. Concert tickets to a band I really enjoy? Definitely makes me smile. KFC? Hmmm, sometimes LOL. None of them necessary, all of them giving me something in my life that ultimately makes me feel like a happier person.
Taking away all the bullshit about whether we deserve something or whether it is necessary is so freeing. I had enough money saved up so I did it. I’m reminded of the quote from Rasheed Oguniaru:
“Live your life, sing your song. Not full of expectations. Not for the ovations. But for the joy of it”
I didn’t buy my new Macbook because I’d done anything spectacularly wonderful to deserve it. I certainly didn’t buy it to look cool in front of others. I bought it to make myself happy every time I open the computer to write. And that’s certainly worth more than the Recommended Retail Price.