Last week I noticed myself hunched and squinting trying to read the notes on a sheet of piano music. No, my eyesight wasn’t going. It was just that, thanks to weird wall flush lights and no overhead lighting, the room in our house was too dim for me to read music after dark, which seems to be the only time I manage to practice piano. After two years of this problem, I decided it was finally time to get a piano lamp.
But if I had managed for two years without one, did I really need one now, just when I am supposed to be buying no new nothing? No, I didn’t really need one in the sense that, without one, I could continue living and breathing and even playing the piano, albeit from an awkward leaning position. But it was ridiculous for me to continue straining my eyesight and ruining my posture. So I bought one.
My commitment to no new nothing did, however, very much inform my choice of piano lamp. I failed to buy one for two years because I wanted an elegant and stylish one, the one I really wanted was outrageously over-priced, and I could not make up my mind which of the second-best and slightly-less-elegant-but-still-pricey options to get. But, buying one now, it had to be about function rather than style, so I settled for the cheapest option on Amazon – a little £15 battery powered LED thing that serves excellently. My piano practice posture is much improved, and I am probably happier with this one than I would have been than some fancy thing I might have bought otherwise.
While I was on my Amazon splurge, I also got a little £15 folding TV table for our living room that had been on my mind as a not-strictly-necessary-but-sure-would-make-my-daily-life-better treat. I work from home, mainly at my desk in our second bedroom/office/piano room (yes, I do have a desk lamp), but sometimes I like to mix it up a bit and get a change of scene. I don’t love working in coffee shops because I feel obliged to keep buying over-priced and often-mediocre coffee (and I have to leave the poor spoiled dog at home alone), so I find myself working in our living room and trying to balance laptop and notebook in my lap on the sofa or in an armchair. The solution came to me on a recent morning walk with the dog when I noticed an older couple siting in armchairs by the front window of their living room with their laptops on small folding TV tables. After thinking about it for a couple of weeks, I went for it when I bought the piano lamp – et voila, my daily life is doubly improved. (Full disclosure – I ended up getting two tables as a result of a delivery debacle. Amazon, why is your delivery of larger items the worst??!!)
These two infractions of my no new nothing rule were minor. I do not regret them. But here is hoping there are no more anytime soon …