Don’t worry, this isn’t some deep existential crisis post, nor a call for any kind of drastic measures 🙂
Actually, I was looking around the condo the other day and I was musing about all the things I have now as luxurious conveniences but lived in the past for 10 years or more, without.
Not Starbucks, obviously.
I still can’t bring myself to take taxis because that is a serious luxury; even going to the airport, I always took the bus even in winter but it wasn’t so bad because I knew how to pack to travel in between two seasons to travel and I only packed a carry-on and a bag for a few months.
I remember once Toronto had a huge storm and the city was flooded, and we were about to go to Asia for a few months on vacation.
The metro stations stopped working and I was stuck at near the end of the line with no buses running or trains to hit our flight, if it was even still on time!!
We cabbed for the first time in years that day and it was so luxurious….
With Baby Bun, we MAY take a taxicab but only if it is winter.
These are all of the things that I am happy I have now, and kind of can’t give up now that I’m used to them.
AT HOME LAUNDRY
For a long time, I used to have to go to the laundromat to do my laundry.
Then I upgraded to an apartment where it was in the basement (not so bad!).
One day, while working on contract, I stayed in a hotel and the apartment hotel had EN SUITE LAUNDRY.
My life changed. I suddenly realized how darn convenient it was to just put things in the wash, start it, do something else, hear it beep and then move it to the dryer, all within 2 hours instead of having to set my timer to beep to remind me to put on pants and go to the basement for my laundry.
Or if I needed more time in the washer or dryer but didn’t bring enough change or didn’t charge my card recently, I was out of luck, having to schlep wet, cold, slightly mouldy smelling clothes back to air dry into rough, tough, pieces of leather, uncomfortable and brutal to wear on my sensitive skin.
I had the taste of the good life and couldn’t go back.
From then on, about 3 years ago, I would only consider renting with en suite laundry, and now I own a FULL SIZED WASHERS AND DRYERS.
Never had a car until I was forced into it.
I had never bothered with a full license until I took my first contract and had to commute 3 hours by bus a day for an hour-long commute by car.
I also had to beg people to pick me up at the bus station to drive me to work!!!!
Oh the humanity.
They were so sweet about it too, as I had such a crappy, pitiful existence, being car-less and just starting my career as a freelancer
That month, I went for lessons, got my certificate, took my test for a full license and bought a car for $1900 in cash.
I had no idea what freedom felt like until I got a car.
My commute now was only an hour and I could drive anywhere, rent a car in any city to go elsewhere and generally, live a life I had only known via public transit for so long.
I definitely built some serious “character” as they call it from having to wait 45 minutes for a bus in boiling hot, freezing cold or rainy conditions, learning how to read those (still) mysterious bus schedules and abhor paying for taxis (still an out-of-reach luxury for me) because it was only $2 for a one-way trip.
I definitely do not miss taking the bus. I took it the other day with Baby Bun in the rain because I thought it would be fine (momentary bout of insanity, really) and realized how much I loved having a warm, clean, functioning car especially with a toddler.
I don’t love the gas prices but that’s why I have invested in oil, to try and recoup some of my gas money back 😉
PROPER WINTER JACKET
It is amazing but about 8 years ago, I didn’t even own a winter jacket!!!
Or what could be properly termed as one, anyway.
What I owned 8 years ago, was a cotton “jacket” that I would pad 3-4 layers underneath and try to stay warm in while obviously freezing because I’m a secret reptile and my blood runs cold.
It wasn’t until I cleared my debt that I finally bought a real wool jacket (which I still own and love):
Then…until about 3 years ago, I never owned a proper, Canadian, down jacket that was waterproof with a hood. It feels like wearing a fitted blanket, outside.
I could never stomach the idea of $1000 for a jacket until I idiotically reminded myself that I paid double that for a wool & cashmere jacket by Burberry so why not a real one for super cold winters?!?!?
I was definitely more vain than practical.
What changed was when I was heavily pregnant with Baby Bun & having to go to appointments and checkups by bus (I had donated my first car to charity and didn’t have my second one yet), I knew I needed to stay warm, so Baby Bun spurred that purchase on.
PROPER WINTER BOOTS
In addition to not having a good winter jacket for those terribly cold days with snow and hail, I also had these crappy but “cute” brown “winter” boots.
(Note all the quotation marks of sarcasm…)
They were just shoes in fake leather and I wore hiking socks to stay warm.
Now that I have proper rain boots and boys winter hunting boots, I can’t believe I wore those things.
They weren’t waterproof so the snow would get in and melt (LOL) and I was in debt at the time so I didn’t want to buy boots…
I was also super picky about boots when I finally had money, because I wanted the PERFECT PAIR.
I still haven’t found them so I’m wearing boys hunting boots until I can find a decent pair I think look cute and are warm.
I looked at these versions above but I hate lace-ups like nobody’s business because I’m lazy, so I went with a rainboot option where it was easy to slip on and wear with thick socks: