Monday, May 09, 2005

$4 Haircut

I took the bus downtown this morning to get my hair cut at this little place that does $4 haircuts. As it turns out, I guess they're only open Mondays, so I was pretty lucky--or blessed, depending on how you look at it--that I did it today. It was refreshing to actually walk a few blocks today. For the past couple of years, I was so busy that I had to drive just about everywhere I went. Even at school, my classes were all within a hundred yards of the parking lot. So I'd sit at work, drive to school, sit in class, sit in the lab, drive home, and sit in the office. It was a pretty sedentary lifestyle. I've got youth and good genes to thank that I'm not totally out of shape. And good diet, I suppose, but you see what I mean.

It was also interesting to be going so far out of my way to save a little money. I mean, it's not that I was wasting time; I was able to read through some important files while I was on the bus and waiting for the bus. But for the past couple of years, my time was worth so much more than my money that I would hardly hesitate to just drive to the local stylist and have my hair done for $15 or $20 (plus tip). Now, suddenly, time spent on a bus is no longer time spent away from schoolwork or away from a paying job. Since I'm saving my money for a mission and I no longer have a reliable source of income, my priorities have changed. Rather than waste money on gas and car maintenance, I would rather use the free bus pass that I have left over from when I was a student. And I'm willing to go halfway across town just to get the cheapest haircut. It's really a different way of thinking... and I'm glad to see that it isn't a difficult transition for me. I see so many people that get used to a particular lifestyle and just can't seem to adopt a different mentality when they find that their situation has changed.

On a similar note, I'd like to mention something interesting I noticed on Mothers Day. I spent the evening with Liz's family, and I got to see Liz's mom opening her Mothers Day gifts. It was incredible to see her open each gift--some oven mits, a box of wheat crackers, some cottage cheese--and just see her eyes light up and see that she was genuinely thankful for each and every one of those gifts. I thought that was really neat. It's so different from what I grew up with, and in some ways I hope my own family can be more like that when the time comes.

And while I'm on the subject of money, I might mention that my step-grandma has decided to hire me to give her computer lessons. I think that'll be pretty fun, and it certainly won't hurt to be making a little extra money. Who knows, maybe I can even afford to keep my cable Internet access. That's one thing I think I'll have a really difficult time doing without.
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