Tuesday, October 05, 2010

My Life's Savings

I think when most people hear the phrase, “life’s savings”, they usually assume it refers to money or assets. For example, “I put my life’s savings towards a down payment on a house.”
For me, it’s a little different. It seems like I’m always saving something. I’ve been saving my entire life. If I was a bank, I’d be full of all kinds of assets. From the time I was a kid, I was always being told to save something.

• Save your money for a rainy day.
• Save this, someone might need it later.
• Save that, you might need it later.
• Save your breath, don’t argue with me.
• Save your energy, don’t waste my time.
• Save…
• Save…
• Save…

I’m always saving something, and as I get older, the messages I’ve always heard have been internalized. I now have my own messages about saving and sometimes, they go to the extreme.

• Save my money.
• Save my vacation time.
• Save the pink sweater—don’t wear it and I won’t ruin it.
• Save wedding dress.
• Save the red lipstick for a fun night out.
• Save my tears.
• Save my love for someone who wants it.
• Save the memory that hurts too much to remember, but would be agonizing to forget.
• Save the sweet memory that makes my heart flutter.
• Save the manicure for another day.
• Save the hateful letter that crushes my self-esteem every time I read it.
• Save the pretty blue underwear for a special occasion.
• Save the trip, the cruise, the WHATEVER for another time.
• Save my hopes and wishes.
• Save my prayers.
• Save someone.
• Save myself.
• Save a life.
• Save the world.
• Save more.
• Save…
• Save…
• Save…

And yet, when I think about it, what exactly am I saving for? Is life itself not a special enough occasion for pretty underwear, a pink sweater, red lipstick and a manicure?

Is my time not valuable enough for me to take and enjoy?

At what point exactly did I become a deposit box, unwilling to draw from my own assets?

Save the excuses. Save the lists and reasons for another day.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

So, did you wear that pink sweater yet?