It was available and it was tempting.
I had an opportunity to purchase a Mamiya medium format Universal Press camera, which would have allowed me to use 120 rollfilm with the same feel as if I was shooting with 35mm film. And it also came with removable backs, which meant I could load several rolls of film and swap them out in mid-frame as needed. Heck, I could have added a Polaroid back and shot everything from old Polaroid packfilm to modern Instax instant film.
It was within my price range. I could purchase it.
And I walked away from it.
I shall explain.
It’s called a New Year’s Resolution. And no, it’s non the one where I start it on January 1st and give it up on January 4th.
In my New Year’s Resolution, I have a credit card that has a very high balance. Over the years, I’ve lowered it, and then some financial crisis has boosted up the balance.
So this year, my goal is to pay the card completely off, through any means legal and dedicated. No excuses. And although I could have acquired that Mamiya camera at a reasonable price, I would have paid more for the additional peripherals over time. I would also be in pocket for camera maintenance and upkeep.
In my younger years, I would have said “screw it” and bought the camera anyway.
Not this time.
I’m coming to the point in my life where I don’t want to leave any debts behind. Now, “leave behind” could be tomorrow, it could be 30 years from now. But it makes complete sense that if I already have plenty of working, enjoyable cameras, I don’t need to add a new one to my arsenal just yet.
And I’ve found new homes for several of my cameras over the years. My beloved Leica Green is now in the hands of a person who has taken it on her travels throughout Europe. Some of my Nikon EM’s that I used for three-dimensional photography have been gifted to film students. I don’t have a problem with thinning the herd, shall we say.
But right now, the goal for me is to clear out what I do not need, and get the balance on that credit card down to zero. Getting it down to negative numbers would be impressive. But I’ll take a zero balance any day.
I will say this. Paying down a credit card is not easy. You can’t fall into the trap of just paying the minimum due and think you’re doing all right. You have to overpay the minimum, because then your excess payment goes to principal, and that knocks down the total faster.
And believe me, it’s tempting. I’m not going to lie. I do visit the B&H camera website and the online auction sites now and again. I price things out. And then I walk away, knowing that I’ve got a perfectly solid Nikon Df and a dependable Rolleiflex Automat MX and a quirky AGFA Clipper Special f/6.3, and if those three dynamos can produce stunning images for me, then I’m in good shape.
You have to learn to work with what you have. You have to stay strong and remain determined. And never give up.
Trust me, it will pay off in the end.
Figuratively and literally.
A commendable position, altho one could also say, “You only live twice”, I mean once…
Courage, my friend. One of the most difficult aspects of self-discipline is making a convincing argument against a purchase you want and can ‘justify’. The realization that you don’t really need it, that something else is more important (perhaps an unseen expense lurking in the future) gives you power over your own life. Possibly the only kind of power we ever truly have.
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