For much of my adult life I have prided myself on being frugal. Shopping at Goodwill was a treat for my ego, and a pot of soup could feed my body and my soul for a whole week. So it comes as a bit of a shock for me to admit that I've changed...for the better.
I'm not exactly a spendthrift now, but Amy's aesthetic sense has rubbed off on me. Amy claims she's frugal too - but in a much different way. Her buying decisions almost always cost more than my equivalent purchases, but she invests a lot more energy in picking just the "right one." She, and more recently I, can enjoy her purchase for a much longer period of time whereas, in the past, I would view my stuff as disposable.
What I hope I haven't lost in the process is my belief that the more money I need to be happy, the less likely that is going to happen. I never quite got to the extreme position of monasticism but felt there was a lot of joy to be had by checking out of the material expectations of our society.
What got me thinking about this today was an article about The New Frugality on Boston.com. It describes how people are buying less expensive items these days, which sounds reasonable but doesn't quite match my new philosophy. But I like how the article describes that people are just plain buying less. This sounds like my new frugality. I'm now much more likely to put off a purchase until I can afford the "right" product than I am to continue my purchasing patterns at stores I don't normally visit.
I believe ESP has helped me make this switch. If I relied on Amy to make all the household purchasing decisions it would have been easy to just complain about her spendthrift ways. But since I have to use the vacuum just as often, my desire for a smooth functioning tool to get the job done well and swiftly allows me to evaluate this purchase to a different scale. I have come to believe that trust in Amy does not hinge on her changing but rather on me changing my perspective.