March 16: my short-termism and my mum

The following does not necessarily mean that I am miserly, but it might.

In my wallet I carry the minimum amount of money. On my Oyster travel card I put the minimum amount so that I can travel for just one day. When I go to the supermarket I shop for just one meal. I do not like having plans (this was something my mum always used to say, I recall. And while on the subject of my mum, she never liked telling people she was going to visit. She did not phone Aunty Molly to see if she was in. I used to say, just phone her.  But no, we just travelled six miles and when she was out we went back home, not even particularly disappointed. It was just the way of things. The idea of a call was as though blasphemy to my mum. As was the idea of knocking on the door of Auntie Molly’s house. Or Auntie Peggy’s. And never use the front door. Always the back door. And just walk in.) I digress, but it may be relevant.

So how do I analyse this short-termism? On the few occasions I have gone out with wads of cash on me my confidence has risen. I am generally not short on confidence but more could do no harm. Or maybe it could. I suppose I like to feel the specific connection between a purchase and my cash. Maybe that reins in my spending. But I’m not a big spender anyway. My big problem is creating and maintaining an appetite, not curbing one. Ce n’est pas la nourriture qui comple, c’est l’appetit, as I like to say. As you get older, the main job is exploring your appetite. It goes against the grain, but it has to be done. For example, I’d like to find some courses on Ancient Babylonian.

I suppose I just like inching forward. I’m an incrementalist.

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