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Article by Phil Brown

Phil Brown - Journalist - Author Profile | Email | Website
Phil Brown - Journalist - Author As a journalist I am a senior writer with News Queensland. As an author I write about myself and, if that sounds self-indulgent, you don't know the half of it. Mind you if you read either of my memoirs - Travels with My Angst or Any Guru Will Do, all will be revealed.
Available as Speaker - humorist focusing on problems associated with existential angst and life's journey.
Australia 2000
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Being on a budget can have some interesting side effects, particularly for a wanton spendthrift such as yours truly. As William Wordsworth once wrote: “The world is too much with us; late and soon, / Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; / Little we see in Nature that is ours; / We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”

I couldn’t agree more. I have tended to spend money as a panacea, a cure for boredom, a way of treating myself and making myself feel better. However, recently, our household has decided to try to cut back a bit and I have found that both restricting and liberating in equal measure. First to go have been some of my alternative dalliances. No more visits to my Japanese acupuncturist (he’s not Japanese but his acupuncture is) with whom I often discuss Zen Buddhism and Taoism.

Margaret, my favourite clairvoyant with whom I have regular sessions on the phone was the next to be put on hold. My orthomolecular doctor, well I haven’t seen him for some months and my beauty therapist must think I am now beautiful enough because I haven’t had a facial for months. Massages? Forget about it! Eating out? No way!

I have allowed myself a take-away coffee each morning but have been brown-bagging my lunch (peanut butter sandwiches) and rediscovering the joys of Arnott’s assorted cream biscuits from our own pantry for morning tea each day.

Now I’m sure such strictures are probably normal for some folk but for me, well, it’s been difficult but, as I said, liberating too. It has made me more self-reliant as well. One has to depend a little more upon oneself when one isn’t ringing up one’s clairvoyant every other week. One can think a lot, for free, and meditate or pray, which is also free, and reflect on the things that are truly important in life, relationships.

I sometimes have a fantasy of being super-rich, so rich, I fancy, that I would no longer have to bother even talking to people. I could stay home all day and watch cable television while flunkies catered to my every whim. It would be a hollow victory though.

What’s important to me is my family: my wife Sandra, my son Hamish, my dog, Sarge. Being together is what counts and is more valuable than anything. You don’t have to spend money to be fulfilled, I know that, intellectually, but recently, experimenting with budgeting, that has become crystal clear. Getting and spending is part of life but it’s amazing how much we can do without. Things are just things and they come and go and don’t matter that much, as long as we have each other.


25 Mar 2011

Article/Information supplied by Phil Brown

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.