After years of consideration, and many days spent going back and forth between being absolutely sure this is what I wanted, and fearful that it would only add to the number of experiences I had failed at, I finally gave in and bought my pressure cooker.
With research, I chose the smaller model – despite only about $2 difference for the larger capacity one which would hold 7 quarts more! After all, it would be used mainly for myself and my small dogs – and I would likely be overwhelmed doing large batches. Plus, aside from holding a few less jars at a time, the determining factor came down to whether or not I wanted to use it to hot water bath can quart jars, since that wasn’t an option in the smaller size.
While my husband and son might share some things if I canned them – cherries, pie fillings, etc. It is highly unlikely we would want to open a quart of anything at one time. We just don’t eat a lot of the same things.
Besides, the larger model would take a lot more power, and a lot more time to operate – which in the long run would end up being a lot more than the original $2 difference.
Even then I wasn’t sure. I have failed at so many things… not so much because I was really bad at it to begin with (or any worse than any other beginner) but more because the longer I try to do something, the more guaranteed it is that my confidence and energy will give out on me.
Short projects of a few days to a couple of weeks, with a definite end in sight (and no further obligation after) are much more likely to be met with excitement and success than something I have to do week after week for long periods of time – and anything without a clear end is pretty much doomed to failure from the beginning.
But there was still more to the decision than a matter of failure. I am not one to just spend money – I know that since my bankruptcy pre-marriage, many people still respond to me as if I were bad with money. Yet I have never been a big spender, and every purchase is given much research and consideration both before and after the purchase. My challenge isn’t that I have a problem with spending, but much more that on my own, I am not capable of making enough money to live on (no matter how thrifty I am.)
Now, it may be somewhat different with items I get from the thrift store – especially during bag sale – but I still have to think about everything I bring into my home (for clutter weights me down, and is a constant source of stress for me.)
And whatever I choose to do, and whatever I choose to buy, it must be in line with who I am.
Since the capitalist society in which I find myself appears to be built on encouraging and measuring success on greed – which lies, and cheats, and allows people who haven’t the money to pay for food or medical treatment to die – is the complete opposite of what I believe, I really must make my choices based on something that doesn’t feed that greed.
So while I am enjoying (if it can be called that) the ability in this society to earn gift cards towards ‘something for myself’ I still feel an obligation to spend those gift cards wisely.
Now what is ‘true to me’ is that I feel we’ve drifted far from what is important, and to live well, I need to get back to that – back to the basics. And in the end it was that which made the decision. The money and time spent now learning to grow and preserve my own food can only help me to live in a way that is good, and honest, and true.