When punishment is reward & reward is punishment

The 7 of clubs, that’s this week’s card. and the 7 demands a spend freeze.

I’m to pick one or two things from my everyday life that I really enjoy (which cost money) and ban them. The card doesn’t stipulate for how long.

As I’ve already admitted back in … oh, let’s go check … back in February,  one of my greatest extravagances is how often I go out to dinner. Leaving dinners with friends or colleagues to one side, the real guilt (for me) is my reliance on local restaurants and cafes for many of my meals when I’m alone — typically weekend brunches and evening weekday meals when I’m not otherwise with friends. I really like to be out in the world when I’m writing and I write when I go out for food. This costs me a not insignificant amount of money as far as weekly “basic” living goes …

The second thing I most like to spend my money on is BOOKS. And now that I’ve gone ahead and got myself a Kindle it’s even worse. If going to a bookstore can take an hour or so that I don’t have and ordering off Amazon can take 24 hours, then the Kindle is insanely evil on the instant gratification front. I can have almost any book I want right now.

So books and what I’ll refer to as my “writing meals” — these are the two things I’d feel most deprived to go without ….

Given that for the next two weeks it would be extremely easy for me to go without any writing meals (I’m away for work this week and then again the week after where I’ll be fed by my  employer and mostly dining with colleagues or friends or family I’ll be visiting), I’m going to shoot for a ban on both these items for the rest of the month.

That’s definitely long enough to trigger genuine deprivation.

Which could end up more rewarding than I think. Yesterday during the money seminar I attended, we were introduced to psychodynamic theories of money (based on Freud and Lacan). The study of the libido or the life force or what’s been called EROS suggests that the pleasure of being alive has much more to do with WANTING THINGS, than it has to do with getting them …. That we are insatiable and that our hungers keep us aroused and either happy or anxious about whether we will get what we want. If that’s so, and not everything that Freud thought to be true has borne out — then it is entirely possible that my 3 weeks of punishment may inadvertently prove rewarding.

We’ll see … deprivation is not one of my stronger suits!


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