Having moved a few months ago from a rambling old farm house that I lived in and rented for the past five years on a little more than 2/3 of an acre of land (which at age 74 I grudgingly acknowledged that I could no longer maintain properly – though I loved the isolation of its rugged rural setting) to what is euphemistically termed a ‘movable dwelling’ – a modified trailer van by any other name – which I purchased for a very modest sum situated in an ‘over 55s retirement village’ on the outskirts of a large country town with pretences to being a city (so much for my declared statement on not wanting to live in a city ever again), I decided that at my age and in my new circumstances, a few extra comforts would not go astray. And so, I have been doing a little shopping.
Reflecting the generally dire straits of the global and Western economies in particular, the Ishka stores – who retail relatively expensive homewares drawn from all around the world, mostly from developing nations – are selling everything they stock at a 50% discount. My local Ishka is also closing down, as are certain others in the chain. How can I miss such bargains?
Well, basically I can’t, and basically, I still have the means to take advantage of that – because even though I have been retired from work for 9 years now, and even though I rely largely on state pensions for my income, I find that I now have more disposable income than ever I did throughout my working life while bringing up a family. That is not because, I hasten to add, that I have an overly large retirement income (or that my working life income was small), but because I don’t go anywhere, don’t socialise and don’t generally spend money on anything but necessities and food. I only usually drive my small car once a week for food shopping at my local eco-store (luckily a better one than I previously found anywhere else – even in metropolitan suburbia), and in my new abode I find that I am burning up not much more than about a quarter of the generated electrical power that I was doing at the farm.
So it came to be that I bought a beautiful blue mandala pattern cushion recently from Ishka, on impulse, with a few other things, and later seeing that same blue cushion in a setting with a matching mandala bedspread in the Ishka online store (see image) I decided that I would also like one of those. Today I took my car out for an extra trip to make the purchase, but the man at the shop said ‘sorry, we don’t have those in blue but I can sell you a charcoal one’. I didn’t make that purchase, convinced that my cushion was blue, but when I checked back at home my ‘blue’ cushion stood out now with fresh eyes as being ‘charcoal’. Such is the power of mind and perception to trick ourselves into believing what we think we see. A lesson to remember, and always be aware of.
I will have to return to Ishka soon to remedy my mistake. Charcoal is nice too – and would in fact match my window drapes and some of my bedding too. Of course having a predisposition towards ‘blue’, I didn’t think of that at the time.
One final thought, from my own experience. Do not be afraid of finding yourself without the level of income that you possibly enjoy right now. Life’s journey is one of constantly making adjustments to changing circumstances, as I believe everyone will shortly discover with the downturn and likely abrupt end of the global economy.
You will certainly find that you actually need much less than you think in order to live sensibly in whatever circumstances you may find yourself.
Perceptions and predispositions aside.