Tightening up the belt

This morning, I took a shower in relative darkness with my bathroom door wide open. Why? Because I discovered that, on a day like today when the sun is shining through my massive windows, enough light makes it into the bathroom if I leave the door open that I can see everything I need to see to take a shower (which isn’t much). When I transitioned to freelancing full-time last month, I started making a mental list of my costs that would rise with freelancing and those that would decrease. Since I lived close enough to walk to my former place of employment, I wasn’t saving any money by eliminating the commute. And since I’m a writer/editor, I wasn’t incurring many costs for supplies. Here’s what I came up with:

Costs that will/have risen

– electricity (I’m using my electricity all day now, and not just in the mornings and evenings. But I’ve discovered this hasn’t been as bad as I’d expected; the sun lights my house almost all day. But this computer being on all day is also a major energy-suck).

Costs that have decreased

– hair products (I only use them when I go out in public, which is about 1 – 3 times a week now rather than 5 – 7)

– laundry (I no longer have to worry about not wearing the same shirt two days in a row)

– food (I’m no longer tempted to eat out for lunch)

– bras (I mean, really, who needs ’em?)

Some days I wonder if I’m crazy for switching to freelance work just as the economy took a nose-dive. But I think us Wordly types can consider ourselves lucky. No, not because there will be a rise in people’s need for writers and editors (alas, too many people find a good editor to be a “luxury” expense), but because we’ve already learned to live simply. We don’t have to give up our decadent lifestyles now that money’s tighter for everyone; we just switch from used bookstores back to the library. And why not turn off the lights? All the best stories start in the dark.