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View Full Version : Paupers and Kings: A Confession



Hippie Dribble
04-21-2011, 05:35 AM
For the past couple of months I've been feeling a growing sense of shame and self disgust at my appetite for ukuleles and the ridiculous amount of money I have been spending on them. I feel like the guy from the Monty Python film ' The Meaning of Life' who sits down, gorges himself on food and then his guts explode everywhere. Except I see no humour in my own circumstance.

I work as an aged carer...yep...without putting too fine a point on it, wiping peoples' bums and dealing with demented behaviours. in our society, a hugely undervalued and poorly paid job. To give you some perspective, the 19 year olds who operate the cash registers at supermarket check outs across the road get paid more than we do. My beautiful wife stays at home and devotes her time to home schooling our children and doing the lion's share of work on our farm, and gets a small govt. subsidy. We live, theoretically, below the poverty line. I should be buying makalas, lanikais, mahalos right? No. I buy collings, mya moe, kamaka et al.

We have no major debt - mortgage - as we own our property. Nor do we have a credit card, mobile phone. We grow many of our own fruit and veges, nuts, eggs etc. But we have no savings either...My savings account has gone from $7000+ dollars in the last 18 months to zero. Every spare cent in the last 3 years that I've hadhas gone towards buying ukuleles. We have no money to fall back on in the event of something going wrong with a health issue or otherwise. I am an insulin dependent diabetic of 25 years with complications developing so in all likelihood this will become another cost at some point. we also have 2 young children depending on us.

To get to the point. UAS has become a disease to me. I no longer even look forward to receiving the bloody things anymore. I used to joke about my UAS but I have spent much time in the last few months looking in the mirror and hating myself. my greed.my selfishness. my obsession to feed my lust at the expense of my families needs. and the thing is, these premium ukes just sit in their cases...1/2 the time I'm too scared to even play em lest I mark them. What 's the point of that. How stupid. Life is to be enjoyed, not walked through on eggshells. I have now begun the process of selling off many of my ukes...I have had over 30. It is time to begin thinking of people other than myself. I will keep a handful but the rest is just pure selfish greed. Unjustifiable and a cause of guilt and regret. I am also painfully aware of my own mortality and want to do right by my family with the little money we have. Wife and I had a heart to heart last night and we're both concerned about our lack of savings. Reality check. time to change while there is still time to make that change.

2 points. 1. life isn't about investing in stuff. it's about investing time in people. 2. you can't be a pauper and pretend you're a king. I'm selling much of my collection for all these reasons above. As a self confessed ukaholic, ukes are great but there is more to life. so sorry for the rant but I'm unravelling a little at the moment and just needed to write out my thoughts...I'm a pretty withdrawn, depressed and reclusive person and you guys are a lifeline to me more often than you might realise. If you made it this far I don't want sympathy . but I just say thanks for reading. I need to make some big changes in my life. In attitude and in action.

cletus
04-21-2011, 05:56 AM
Thanks for sharing.

I hope you don't mind me saying:
Sell the ukes you don't need and stop beating yourself up, mate.
You've brought a lot of cheeriness and good thoughts to me with your ukes, and I truly appreciate it.

:worship:We love you, man!:music:

Kanaka916
04-21-2011, 06:15 AM
Believe me, I want as much as the next guy and I've learned a long time ago (special thanks to my SO) about wants and needs . . . I still want, but it passes. Anytime a purchase involves a significant amount of liquid assets, we discuss "wants vs needs". There were opportunities for certain instruments that I've passed on. Regrets, definitely yes. But it's something I can live with. Just my dos centavos.

Skottoman
04-21-2011, 06:17 AM
I read it all, and I can completely understand your situation and how you're feeling.

You have all the right reasons to feel the way you do, and you *do* have a way out of that feeling. And you seem like you are on the right path.

Sell most of your ukes for the most you can, and just make *that* your savings start?
If you are able to do that, you've solved 2 of your problems, and you should/would feel absolutely amazing. While at the same time still having a few nice high end ukes to fulfill your sense of "living like a king!"

Best of luck you you. Sometimes the big changes hurt, but feel sooooo good once you've been through them.

Cheers,
Skottoman

v30
04-21-2011, 06:19 AM
Hopefully those ukes are just money in the bank so to speak and you'll get back a large portion of what you have into them. I think we have all bought things we don't really need to make ourselves feel better (instead of addressing whatever it is that has us a little down). I know I have.

MiaRosie
04-21-2011, 06:27 AM
It takes courage to accept that you have a problem, courage to face that problem and discuss it with those we love, and courage to open your heart and share your feelings on here. You are more than half way there, you have faced the issue and know how to resolve it. I understand how you have got to your position, like most on here I would love to have different ukes: I have a mahala soprano and really 'want' a decent one, I would love an eleuke as well as a fluke and / or flea. I DO have a good ukest. (in my eyes) in the pono concert I was bought the Christmas before last.

Good luck with your sales, I hope you get fairly near to the money you paid for them as they have hardly been used. Are you allowed to let people on here know what you have for sale and the price ?

Best wishes

Lexxy
04-21-2011, 06:36 AM
Sorry to hear about what's been going on Jon..

Seems like you're on the right path! Although that does make your ukes alot more lonely.
Save the ones that really keep you happy, and you'll be fine :)

jonesjimbo
04-21-2011, 06:55 AM
Sorry to hear about your situation Jon.

It sounds like you have recognized the problem and you have a plan to fix the problem. You can overcome this. We are here for support, and it sounds like you have a beautiful family that is also very supportive.

Keep a few ukes that you really love and enjoy them! That is what is all about. I know that I look forward to seeing your videos and posts on UU and think that most others here do too.

You have a gift and I am glad that you share it with us.

OldePhart
04-21-2011, 06:56 AM
I'm no psycho analyst but that sounds like a classic case of hoarder's syndrome. That's a bit beyond your "normal" UAS. They say the first step in resolving any behavioral problem is recognizing that it exists.

At least you haven't gone deeply in debt over this as many people do.

I'd start paying attention to what ukuleles you play, and which you don't. The former are bringing you pleasure, the latter anxiety. It really doesn't matter which ukes fal into which category - if the Dolphins and Lanikais bring you more real pleasure than the expensive ukes you're afraid to take out of the case, then keep the Dolphins and Lanikais and don't let anyone tell you different.

I have six ukes right now - the "best" of them is a KoAloha concert. While that is the "best" of my ukes it is the first one I would let go because, while it's easily my best sounding uke it isn't the one that brings me the most joy. In fact, I've discovered that I like the concert scale length but I'm not crazy about the concert body's "fullness" of sound - I like a more ukey sound. The long and short of it is that if I had to get rid of all my ukuleles but one right now the one I would keep is my only laminated uke! Granted, it's not a cheap uke, but it is nearly the cheapest of the lot. Still, that Kiwaya longneck soprano is the uke I go to time, after time, after time.

I wouldn't abandon ukuele because chances are you will just find something else to scratch that hoarder's itch. It's obvious from your videos that playing and singing bring you great pleasure and relief from stress - and with the kind of job you have that's essential. So, I'd make that list of which ukes bring you pleasure and which are just expensive headaches. Gradually thin the heard of expensive headaches (don't dump 'em all at once or you'll take a beating on the prices you get).

Just my $.02.

dkcrown
04-21-2011, 07:05 AM
Hi Jon. To err is human. We all do it. When we do, all we can do is address it and try to change change our ways.

FYI, your videos and pressence here has made this place what it is. A pheonomenal place to share a common love amongst new friends.

It is very apparent that you are a kind and caring person. Isn't that the most important thing in life? Taking care of your family in a responsible way is paramount, but think of all the joy that you have brought them by introducing them to the ukulele. I know that doesn't mean instilling them with UAS, but I know that they will appreciate a Dad/Husband that is fallible. Just like everybody else on this planet. They will understand the lesson of living within one's means.

So don't despair too deeply over your situation. After all, as some have already pointed out, those high end ukes hold their value pretty well.

hmgberg
04-21-2011, 07:43 AM
I'll resist the temptation to rant at length about the inequities in the way people are paid; I'd just be preaching to the choir and may even make you feel worse, which is something that I would most certainly not want to do. Let me just say, "I understand."

This is really something to get into balance, as opposed to swinging from one position to another in the way the a bulimic binges and purges. What I mean to say is that, optimally, you want to enjoy your life in the moment without putting at risk your own or your loved-ones' future welfare. You should neither disregard the need to develop a savings plan, nor the value of enjoying what you have. If I were you, I'd be careful not to overreact. Don't needlessly sacrifice something that brings you great joy. Ask yourself whether you despise yourself right now because you have so many ukuleles or because you have (had?) lost sight of the potential risks of spending money on them. If it is really the latter, start focusing on saving. I understand that these concepts are related in your mind, ukuleles and saving, but I'm not sure that they should be. Right now, you are not even allowing yourself to enjoy the ukuleles you have because of this conflation. Perhaps were you to make an effort from this point on to save with the same intensity and enthusiasm you previously applied to acquiring ukuleles, you will achieve a sense of balance I'm speaking of. Then you will know which ukuleles to get rid of, if you decide to do so.

You're not an evil person, else you wouldn't be thinking about the potential impact of your actions on others (not to mention your career choice which I think, if the universe were at all fair, would entitled you to a really great ukulele or two). Stop beating yourself up.

Gmoney
04-21-2011, 07:51 AM
I work as an aged carer...

Brother, as a middle son of a mother who needs such care, I thank you & applaud you for your HARD work. W/o such care, my Mom wouldn't remotely thrive like she does in the "assisted living/"old-folks-home" she lives in.

And, as a husband & father, I also applaud your clear decisions to live more within your means. Thank you for your example to the rest of us. And, please continue to share with us your great enthusiasm & skill with the ukulele. I love to see a link to a new video from you as it will always be something that brings a smile & makes me love this little instrument even more.

Mahalo!

ConspiracyUkeist
04-21-2011, 07:54 AM
You're trying to fill a hole, as melodramatic as it sounds, a hole in your soul.

Can you teach, play at nursing homes, buy a bunch of Flukes and give lessons fo' free at local schools?

These holes are generally composed of equal parts a lack of sense of purpose, and lack of feeling connected to others, because you're not.

I know a little about these holes, myself.

There's a hospital near me and once I'm a decent player, I'm seriously looking at going around and playing (where wanted) to cheer people up. Maybe even teach and give a few inexpensive ukes away. I should clarify here that I live on about 1/4-1/2 of minimum wage. I am not rich. But I am very frugal, and can afford to buy the odd Fluke or Cordoba for someone to whom it would make a real difference.

hobblecreek
04-21-2011, 08:08 AM
A couple of comments about: (i) UAS and (ii) fear of actually playing the instruments you own.

Many herein have already supplied supportive observations. I can only add that my dictionary defines “sacrifice” as the surrender of something prized for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim. The greatest lessons I’ve learned in life have come as the result of sacrifice. Figuring out what’s important is hard, following through is even harder, but in the end, you’ll know you’ve done the right thing and you will feel uplifted as you realize a “higher claim”.

In terms of what to do (like many of the other replies), I’d sell most of the ukes and keep a couple that you prize the most and will not be afraid to play. I recently bought a fairly expensive Collings UC3 (in fact, she’s the one pictured on the Collings website). At first I could only look at her, but once she had received her first scratch (caused by a fingernail played too far down the fingerboard) and then a second, followed by a third, well, I decided she is even more beautiful now that she shows marks derived from her intended purpose. Find the right mix of makers, sizes, wood combinations and (most importantly) sound, and keep only these.

The right mix for me includes just 3 ukes – some may only need 1 and others might want 5. My list of keepers: the new Collings, a special one-off mahogany Santa Cruz Concert, and a Martin 3K Soprano. Each offer a vastly different sound and playing experience.

Finally, play the heck out of the ones you keep and let them enrich your life.

My thoughts anyway . . .

ItsMrPitchy
04-21-2011, 08:19 AM
I agrre on what has been said to keep the ones you play and rid of the ones you don't. However, we all know your not an evil person with the kind of work you do and the influence you have on this forum there is no way you could be a evil person.

mr moonlight
04-21-2011, 08:36 AM
Sometimes we all slip up a bit. Good thing you got your head on straight now. You find something that really makes you happy and you naturally think having more of it will increase that happiness when it rarely does.

I figure it this way. All you really need it 2 Ukes. One nice one for everyday use and one cheaper one that you can travel around with and not worry about so much. Keep your favorite and one of your least expensive Ukes and keep playing guilt free. It's no fun playing when it's a burden.

SweetWaterBlue
04-21-2011, 08:49 AM
Eugene (I just call you that, because I don't think you are the famous preacher John Donne that wrote the sermon you quote) - it took a lot of courage to post that. I am glad you are facing your addiction head on, but sorry to hear it has gone as far as it has.

We joke a lot on here about UAS, but a lot of times when I read it, I feel a bit sad, because I know that we have a very large range of economic status on this board. Some can buy Koalohas for the change in their pocket, and others scrape to get a cheap laminate soprano. I also know some that spend their last dime on expensive ukes, while they worry about the family budget. The posts on this and most other hobby boards feed the addiction. They fill your head full of covetous thoughts that you must have the latest and greatest ukulele and it just consumes you until you get it - been there and done that. In the end they are just things, and to be honest at my level of playing a cheap laminate is probably as good as a solid wood custom made. Its all about balance and what is important in your life.

Anyway, you have taken a good first step by recognizing that this thing has you by the short hairs, as we say in the US. That is the first step to getting control of your life back. I finally learned to be mostly content with my little mahogany soprano and a spruce top tenor. Its all I need and both play better than I do.

God speed my ukulele friend.

ichadwick
04-21-2011, 09:01 AM
Last year I donated 13 full boxes of books to the local library, along with 3 very large boxes of DVDs. I'm not just a collector: I love books with a passion. I read and re-read them, refer to them, lovingly gaze at their spines and covers. I stand in the hallway, open a book, any book, and start reading, to find myself still there, an hour or more later, reluctant to leave. To me, a house without a satisfactory library can never be a home, just a waystation, a place to eat and sleep. But the books were piled two, even three deep, and there are shelves in every room, all overflowing. There are piles of books on the floor in the hallway and the bedroom. I carry books with me in my knapsack, my car, in my jacket pockets to read at any opportunity. Books represent to me learning, entertainment, exploration, understanding, wisdom, experience and mystery.

The same with DVDs. I collected all sorts of movies: foreign films, film noir, rare and scarce flicks, documentaries, art films, classics... and I could watch them over and over. We had shelves of DVDs, again overflowing onto the floor and coffee tables.

One day I just said, enough. I boxed up as many books and DVDs as I could and donated them all. Sixteen boxes (I could have done more but ran out of boxes...) to the library. I have a few boxes waiting to go to a local yard sale next week, run by a service club as a fundraiser. And we gave several boxes to the local humane society for their fundraising secondhand goods outlet.

It actually felt good, like I was lightening up and shrugging off a weight. I still buy books and movies, but not with the same intensity or passion. I sold and gave away a few ukes, as well. I still play, but have better focus on the ones I kept.

And as for money: I have none. I'm in between unemployment and retirement. But I'd rather have books and no money than money and no books. And, ukes, too, of course... not a lot, not as much as before, but enough to keep me happy.

PhilUSAFRet
04-21-2011, 09:02 AM
Sorry you have used your cash reserve to buy these ukes. It's a necessary first step that you have recognized you have a problem in that area. As a retired counselor, I recognize that we all need to feel good about ourselves, and we sometimes act in self-defeating ways in order to accomplish this. I hope there is someone you can talk to, a trusted mentor, a minister, counselor, perhaps the Social Worker at your care center can help. It is important you get any help you need to develop a new strategy to have this need to feel ok. It isn't the work or the feelings that are the problem, it's the strategy you choose to deal with them. As you can see, you have many friends here who will support and encourage you. I will pray for you and will give you all the encouragement I can.
Considering what you do all day, I believ you can fix this.

Your Friend,

Phil

Canoe Lady
04-21-2011, 09:17 AM
I agree with everything that has been said by others here, Eugene, but I will just add that if you bring as many smiles to your patients as you do to this forum, they are very very lucky, indeed.
Sending you aloha.

mm stan
04-21-2011, 09:26 AM
Aloha Brother Eugene,
Reading your post brought tears down for me...I can hear your cry for help....You have many friends here who care for you....and they offered alot of good advice...when I watch you play the ukulele, I can
see the joy and happiness it brings to you....it comes from your soul mate...while you may have gone overboard in your obcession of your purchases, don't beat yourself too hard..some people never realize
that..I think you are halfway there, accepting you have a problem and facing it.. It will be a hard road ahead, deciding which to keep...retain your favorites and let go the rest, hopefully they will retain
their value and it is as good as money in the bank...don't be in a rush and unload them as you may not get top price for them...wait for when people ask for them or let them go slowly..it will help relieve
the pain of selling them and help you get less depressed. Last of all, Keep playing your ukulele, you are a very gifted player...and you have brought much enjoyment to all of us with your videos....and
given us inspiration and motivation to keep playing and improving our skills.. Hang in there mate, wish you all the best....we are all here for you... Your friend, Stan Happy Strummings..

mds725
04-21-2011, 10:06 AM
Eugene,

It was brave of you to post what you did, not only because you confronted some issues in your own life that are clearly important to you, but also because people tend to make light of UAS in this forum and it sort of goes against the culture of the place to bring up UAS's dark side. I have hoarder tendencies, so I completely understand how you amassed your ukulele collection. There's this sort of yucky movie called "What Women Want" with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, and there's a scene in which Mel's character wants to be with Helen's character but can't be. he's milling around in his apartment, opens his refrigerator and then says the only astute thing anyone says in the movie, "She's not in there," and then he closes the refrigerator again. What I liked about that scene is watching his character realize that he was substituting something he know he could get for the thing he really wanted but couldn't have. I have no idea why you've ended up with so many ukuleles, and I don't want to sound like I'm trying to psychoanalyze you, but your post reminded me of that scene, mostly because of your realization in your post that acquiring ukuleles isn't what you really want. I think being willing to be as reflective as you were in your post is difficult to begin with; doing it publicly is even harder still. Anyway, I wish you the best in trying to sort out what to do next and wanted to support you for your thought that investing in people is more important than investing in stuff.

Please don't hijack this thread with comments about the merits of "What Women Want" or Mel Gibson or Helen Hunt. I was just trying to illustrate a point.

philpot
04-21-2011, 10:17 AM
That was a beautiful confession. It's good that you realized the problem you have with it, and you know how to deal with it. A lot of practical advice has been thrown at you here, and I can only hope you follow some of it. Ukulele should be something that brings you joy, not financial trouble or resentment. Excuse my religious metaphor, but we Christians like to say something that gets to that point is an idol. In my case, it would be anything I put before God. Whether you believe in that or not, you can consider it, in your case, to be anything you put above what TRULY matters. FIRST your relationship with your family. Second your financial issues. If something is showing up above those on your priority list, it is most definitely not a good thing.

strumsilly
04-21-2011, 12:11 PM
thanks for sharing, takes a lot of spunk to put it out there like you did. I feel a little guilty because I committed to buy a Koaloha soprano today. I'm trying to keep it to one uke of each size, but my only other soprano is a dolphin. I've been wanting a Koa uke and this one popped up used. I definitely don't need it, but can afford it.

Teek
04-21-2011, 12:42 PM
You have made intelligent observations, and been very honest with yourself. IMHO it's ok to let go of the self judgment though, everybody is fallible, it goes with being human. Beating one's self up indicates an injured inner kid, also common in humans, handed down by our parents generally. Don't add shame to the mix. Just dust yourself off, make your amends, and move forward. Having the new awareness and using it in a calm and steady manner to investigate which of your ukes can be converted back into savings is the right start. They are pretty much money in the bank as previously noted, and I would follow the advice of those who say don't try to sell a lot of them at once. I would just suggest you refrain from adding more, and that you keep the Mya Moe or another high end uke or two if you will play them. And a couple cheaper travelers. I am wondering if you can teach lessons on the side for extra income once a week or so? Then you use those less expensive ukes to earn income as well.

I do without a lot to pay our exorbitant urban rent, but I do feel worthy of a couple of nice ukes, and my nicest is a low end Kanile'a. It sounds like other than an abundance of ukes your priorities are great. I think in all honesty the forums are part of the problem only because we find out here about all the neat ukes that are available. The ease of online sales absolutely aggravates the compulsive aspects if one is prone to aquiring "stuff". It's also unfortunately the current "American Way" to consume, it's the number one business model. You got sucked up in the machine for awhile.

Using your new insight, maybe for right now pick say ten "keepers" so it feels less traumatic. You want to sell from a mental place of willingness even if it is reluctant, rather than distress. Pick one of the other twenty to sell in the next week, then line up the one that goes next, and the one after that. If one doesn't sell, hold it for awhile but put another up in its place. You will feel the relief of taking positive action and release the psychological stress so you can enjoy playing your ukes again. Don't lose sight of all the good or the goal. You will find your way back into balance. It's not crack or other shit up your nose where the money is all gone (though there is a similar addictive process in the brain). Make sure you designate players and play them to get your joy back! As you see funds going back into your savings, you will have the positive reinforcement to keep liquidating, and you will be able to fine tune your keepers down to maybe six. Then maybe three. If hard pressed I know I could get down to three. Right now I have a "one in, two out" policy.

Ukes can bring so much joy, and I also found personally that it wasn't the number of ukes I needed so much as the joy they have given me just playing them for the relief from the day to day crap of a job with an abusive boss, poor health and the high cost of living in an urban environment I didn't choose. In UAS I was trying to get more joy in my life; what I needed was just to play, get a better connection with my higher power, and with friends.

If you could take a uke to work to play a couple minutes here and there for your charges, I'll bet the joy you would give would return to you exponentially, and that it would help with feeling a need to withdraw and with your general depression, which could be from the job. Bringing more light to the the elderly and infirm could bring more light into your life, or at least to time at work.

Hang in there, you have wisdom and are a brave dude.

SuzukHammer
04-21-2011, 01:38 PM
All I can say is that I love to watch your youtube videos.

I, too, am a hoarder and alot of your post resonates with me so thank you.

brucemoffatt
04-21-2011, 01:39 PM
Hi Jon,

You've touched all of us on this forum in lots of ways. Your infectious enthusiasm for the uke, your wonderful videos full of humour and talent.

I'm so glad you've opened up to the forum about your UAS issue and I'm in no doubt others here will help you unburden with selling your stash.

I'm sure you already know, life isn't about these toys. It's not a case of who finishes with the most toys being the winner. I know you know that. You also know that what really matters is what you can contribute, not what you take out of life, that really counts. Your contribution is large both through your work and the global entertainment factory that is Eugene Ukulele.

Alas we can't reconcile the true worth of a person's life against the monetary wealth that a person gains as a result of their contribution. Maybe your hoarding was a reaction to that? Maybe you were shouting out silently that you deserve those toys? I'm guessing.

For what it's worth, a million faceless billionaires make a tiny fraction of the real contribution that you do every day. Pauper or King? You're a king to us, and to those people who you care for that can't care for themselves.

I'm proud to know you mate.

Any time you want to unburden, I'm here and many others as well.

Susie A
04-21-2011, 02:30 PM
snip ... For what it's worth, a million faceless billionaires make a tiny fraction of the real contribution that you do every day. Pauper or King? You're a king to us, and to those people who you care for that can't care for themselves.

I'm proud to know you mate. ... snip

I never know the "right" thing to say, so I will borrow this from Bruce.
Eugene,
You are one of my uke inspirations! I really look forward to your videos. You put so much heart into every single one.

Uncle Leroy
04-21-2011, 02:59 PM
Jon,
Congrats on being a big enough guy to share with us and admit what you are going through. I too am dealing with an addiction....slot machines. It is hard to admit to yourself when things are getting out of hand. I think you have taken the biggest and most difficult step and I applaud you for it. My advice is to pick one and keep pickin' on that one.

Uke Republic
04-21-2011, 03:50 PM
Sounds like your a responsible Dad/Husband and a great guy. You always put a positive spin on things and we all love your vids so please don't beat yourself up to bad. I bet within your home and community you've made some awesome priceless memories with those ukes. You'll have that savings back up in no time just a little reducing of a very nice herd:) Ukes are in high demand for us as of late in Oz so I bet if you put them out on a local sellers venue it will go well.
Hang in there Jon!

Dougf
04-21-2011, 04:02 PM
Jon, sounds like you've done some real soul searching, and I hope things work out for you and your family. I know from my own experience that it can be tough trying to balance life's passions with its responsibilities. Hang in there, and keep on ukin'.

scottie
04-21-2011, 05:34 PM
eugene - Congrats on being strong enough and good enough to confront the issue. Don't beat yourself up. You do valuable work that helps old people whose quality of life would likely suffer a bit if not for you. You're lucky to be among people with whom you can grow.

It's sad sometimes; we live in a culture that propagandizes ownership over so much else and almost for its own sake. . . It cheapens the experience of finding and buying a wonderful instrument and using it to realize the joy of creating something beautiful. . . 'cause believe you me, there's nothing wrong with having a couple of nice instruments. . . an artist should have good tools. It's always encouraging to see someone look into themselves and learn from the experience. With the change in thinking you might realize a positive change in your playing. . . for the better.

All the best.

TCK
04-21-2011, 05:59 PM
Oi! Mate-
I get you on this totally...but I pause at the idea of disgust.
I am probably not going to say anything that anyone else has not, but if you got the time, I hope to make you feel a little better.
OK- story time- kick your feet up.
First- we all fall down. I am totally in the "Work my ass off and ain't got a pot to piss in club", so you are spared that diatribe. Totally in the "what the hell was I thinking?" club as well...but I got another one I belong to you might find solace in.
I am in the "how the heck are we going to keep our house?" club as well.
Not going to go into details about how that happened, but suddenly, my money went to other things than my pleasure (really- I gotta love 340 kids as if they were my own every day and I can't afford to rent a movie?)...in fact, I had nothing at all, and I ramped up proper. Want to see what a fifth of whiskey looks like empty? Had one every day for a while.
Big city boy trapped in a small town with no money- long story short, I am bored most of the time (and on the internet...sheesh), and with my wife straight knackered after work all the time, I get pretty lonely.
So, I get a coupla Ukes on my wife's suggestion (it was out of nowhere-she never played anything) and figure "all right, cheap entertainment."
Then this fella EugeneUkulele starts posting videos. They are freaking AMAZING! Guy can play, guy can sing, and the stuff he is doing is straight out of Uncle Walter's record collection (god rest him)...and how the heck does he find these tunes???
Can I learn this one? Hey Mel, check out this one! Hey, listen to this great old tune- I forgot I had it.
Long story short- we play together 2 hours a day. We don't give a toss about anything else for that time, just playing, and we are eight months in...daily. I play on the Youtube...mostly inspired by your prolific offerings, and I am having a ball (though assuredly making an ass of myself). Let's break this down:
Free time gobbled up with musical expression
Re-discovering the lost end of my beloved music collection
Making music with the lady I love every day, for several hours
Finding enjoyment in the relatively simple
Jon- the way I see it, you have inspired a great many, myself included on this road. I get that you need to sort things, but don't be so hard on yourself mate. Those CD's you posted off to California were instrumental in fixing a hole in my life I thought was just going to get bigger. I thank you, my wife thanks you, my mortgage company thanks you (yes!!! we got out of it!) and I can now buy a few ukes here and there (how the hell did I miss the owl twice?). The only people that think you are a jerk are those that work in Kentucky making bourbon- they will get over it.
In any event- I guess I am trying to say that out there in the interweb world, I consider you my mate, and I take issue with you being so hard on yourself. Of course, I only know you from here, but you have shown yourself to be a thoughtful, intelligent, self-less, and downright talented person, and you are well loved for all those things. You have made a step in the right direction, and you will get this sorted...just please still find the pleasure in them-PLEASE. You are an inspiration I am glad to have found, and you are straight brilliant on that darn thing. Your enthusiasm is a crucial part for me and many others in why this is so much fun. You are the king of making joyful sounds just for the sake of making them...
So keep making them. Even if you have to sell them all- I will gladly send you one of mine to keep the sounds coming.
Cheers
Dave
President- Northern California Eugene Ukulele Fan Club

Teek
04-21-2011, 08:14 PM
Well said sir, well said.

Bravo, Jon and Dave.

joeybug
04-22-2011, 01:09 AM
Oi! Mate-
I get you on this totally...but I pause at the idea of disgust.
I am probably not going to say anything that anyone else has not, but if you got the time, I hope to make you feel a little better.
OK- story time- kick your feet up.
First- we all fall down. I am totally in the "Work my ass off and ain't got a pot to piss in club", so you are spared that diatribe. Totally in the "what the hell was I thinking?" club as well...but I got another one I belong to you might find solace in.
I am in the "how the heck are we going to keep our house?" club as well.
Not going to go into details about how that happened, but suddenly, my money went to other things than my pleasure (really- I gotta love 340 kids as if they were my own every day and I can't afford to rent a movie?)...in fact, I had nothing at all, and I ramped up proper. Want to see what a fifth of whiskey looks like empty? Had one every day for a while.
Big city boy trapped in a small town with no money- long story short, I am bored most of the time (and on the internet...sheesh), and with my wife straight knackered after work all the time, I get pretty lonely.
So, I get a coupla Ukes on my wife's suggestion (it was out of nowhere-she never played anything) and figure "all right, cheap entertainment."
Then this fella EugeneUkulele starts posting videos. They are freaking AMAZING! Guy can play, guy can sing, and the stuff he is doing is straight out of Uncle Walter's record collection (god rest him)...and how the heck does he find these tunes???
Can I learn this one? Hey Mel, check out this one! Hey, listen to this great old tune- I forgot I had it.
Long story short- we play together 2 hours a day. We don't give a toss about anything else for that time, just playing, and we are eight months in...daily. I play on the Youtube...mostly inspired by your prolific offerings, and I am having a ball (though assuredly making an ass of myself). Let's break this down:
Free time gobbled up with musical expression
Re-discovering the lost end of my beloved music collection
Making music with the lady I love every day, for several hours
Finding enjoyment in the relatively simple
Jon- the way I see it, you have inspired a great many, myself included on this road. I get that you need to sort things, but don't be so hard on yourself mate. Those CD's you posted off to California were instrumental in fixing a hole in my life I thought was just going to get bigger. I thank you, my wife thanks you, my mortgage company thanks you (yes!!! we got out of it!) and I can now buy a few ukes here and there (how the hell did I miss the owl twice?). The only people that think you are a jerk are those that work in Kentucky making bourbon- they will get over it.
In any event- I guess I am trying to say that out there in the interweb world, I consider you my mate, and I take issue with you being so hard on yourself. Of course, I only know you from here, but you have shown yourself to be a thoughtful, intelligent, self-less, and downright talented person, and you are well loved for all those things. You have made a step in the right direction, and you will get this sorted...just please still find the pleasure in them-PLEASE. You are an inspiration I am glad to have found, and you are straight brilliant on that darn thing. Your enthusiasm is a crucial part for me and many others in why this is so much fun. You are the king of making joyful sounds just for the sake of making them...
So keep making them. Even if you have to sell them all- I will gladly send you one of mine to keep the sounds coming.
Cheers
Dave
President- Northern California Eugene Ukulele Fan Club

:agree: Not well enough to type it all out, so will just say what he said..I'll keep you in my prayers..

SuzukHammer
04-22-2011, 01:44 AM
I want to be President of Eugene Ukulele fanclub here in SE Asia.

Hippie Dribble
04-22-2011, 05:51 AM
I've just spent the last 1/2 hour reading through your responses everyone. They have made me laugh, cry, look in the mirror in a healthier way and mad me think hard. I cry because I continue to be blown away by the incredible love and generosity of the people her, and because I have been brought face to face with many home truths. You're a perceptive lot! But tears aren't a bad thing, we don't always need to be strong. I want to respond to all posts indidually because every single one means the world to me. alas I could be here all night. I am rarely speechless but I feel this way right now. There are a number of issues going on in my / our lives at the moment and I feel very fragile, cracking at the smallest things that bear even no relation to me personally, like a breath of wind could knock me over without even trying. Here I have read so many wonderful points being made, so much practical advice, so much love. I didn't see this coming at all. Thankyou. Everyone who took the time to respond.

I have serious concerns for the future as my health is not likely to improve greatly but only head in one direction. How long this takes only God knows...I am trying not to 2nd guess him but like Wordsworth's 'Intimations of Mortality' my thoughts leer that way more often than is healthy. Death is a constant shadow over my life these days and I am concerned about what I will leave behind. Will my kids remember their dad as a happy fun guy. will their image of me be of a man smiling, who had time for them. I don't wish to be melodramatic but these are the thoughts that consume me. We have no money and no safety net. This is why I must sell my ukuleles. I will keep a remnant because the uke is a part of who i am and a major part. Music - listening, playing, watching docos, live shows - is my distraction and the time where I really feel joyful. It is a crucial and therapeutic component of my well being.I could no more contemplate a life without a ukulele as I could imagine a life without Fiona.

But decisions must be made and now seems the right time to make them. I certainly do need help and I may even need some counselling as hard as that is to admit, for I have many symptoms that are not only depressive (for which I take medication) but which are obsessive / compulsive. I will also hold this thread and these responses close to my heart and follow through on some of the incredibly sage and honest advice that you have given me. I am so grateful for your sharing some of your personal circumstances and experiences here too. I feel so sad at the moment. Unnamed losses...so many of you were on the money in your analysis of some of the emotional issues confronting me. I have had a colorful life filled with many extremes but sadly, not enough middle ground. Most of the time in 5th gear or reverse. I am hoping to address such things too. Selling some ukes is a very rational, balanced thing to do at this time. Sure I'm a binge / purger but this is a 6 small meals a day move.

Words just can't do justice to the gratitude I extend to each of you. I feel like a deep dusty dry canyon and UU is the flower growing at the bottom.

Canoe Lady
04-22-2011, 06:27 AM
*wraps you up in a huge UU hug*

roxhum
04-22-2011, 06:29 AM
Dear Dear John, I have nothing that I can add that hasn't already been said. I am not a particularly eloquent writer. All I can say is you have brought joy to me personally with your wonderful music that you so graciously share. Every word I have read that you have written tells me that you are an intelligent, kind and wonderful human being. I don't know how I can help other than to send you light and love and prayers. I appreciate you. You rock!
Roxanne

janeray1940
04-22-2011, 06:37 AM
Wow. A lot to think about there.

UAS is only a problem when, well, it becomes a problem. Sounds to me like you've recognized the problem and stopped it in its tracks before it took on a life of its own. Good work!

mm stan
04-22-2011, 09:04 AM
Aloha Bruddah Jon,
Glad to know you're intelligent and recognized your issues between family, music, and life...and will be taking the appropiate steps to get them in the proper order most important to you...Best Wishes for a
quick recovery...We all love you here mate and wish you well...Take Care and God's Blessing..Your Friend, MM Stan

Maiyah888
04-22-2011, 09:49 AM
Dear Jon,

I'm adding my well-wishes to you as another Uke Addict who has cleverly found enablers (I mean, sponsors for my Kids' Ukulele/Songwriting/Drumming Project).

I got my first one on 1/24 and I'll have 9 once they all arrive.

The trust and vulnerability you're sharing with us is huge, and I feel your family will benefit greatly from the conscious steps you're taking to feel the feelings that you've wanted to bury under music and ukuleles.

The vision I hold for you is that all the energy you previously put into acquisition and distraction, now goes into creativity and healing.

May you find comfort, support, clarity and tough, healthy love in every moment of your life, firstly from your Self!

I have found it so for myself. The hour per week I spend teaching my kids' class, to see the joy on their faces, to see how they love music and the ukulele, that is a balm that has been made possible through the experience of my UAS.

So I acknowledge and thank your UAS as a useful step in the development of your soul, as my UAS has been for me.

In that spirit, I'll tell you what my UAS was helping me cope with (Oh, I have ocarina acquisition syndrome, too):

1) most recent break up in December;
2) my parents' health (they're 84 and 85, and they look about 73, 74 and they're not 50 anymore and mom was in the hospital in December and dad has vasovagal fainting spells);
3) my brother's divorce from my niece's mom and resultant stress on extended family;
4) my best friend's daughter's recently diagnosed Crohn's disease (she'll be 2 next month);
5) my previous feeling that I didn't know what my life would be like once my parents cross over;

Happily, half of the ukes I've acquired have been paid for by sponsors (Enabling!). Happily, all of my ukes have been played every week by someone other than myself (underprivileged kids in a scary neighborhood).

If I was full-blown in my UAS, I'd be giving all 8 kids an ukulele!

However, I have retained some sanity.

Well, so much for my TMI, I just want you to know that we all have our "stuff" and we're "only as sick as our secrets."

The truth sets us free.

Much aloha to everyone on this thread, and all they love and who love them in return,

Maiyah

70sSanO
04-22-2011, 09:52 AM
Eugene,

I have seen your videos and you bring so much joy in your playing that is really troubling to read your posts, especially your second one. One particularly frightening phrase you used is that death is a constant shadow. But that phrase also made me think of the 23rd Psalm. Since you also used the word God in your post, I hope I can assume that you are not an atheist. I hope that in your faith you can find a respite, a place of peace, and a healing for you. There are a number of people who are praying for you.

God bless,

John

Hippie Dribble
05-07-2011, 01:12 AM
again, thankyou everyone for your prayers and kindness to me.

I have made some progress. I have sold 4 ukuleles in the past 2 weeks, with another just listed on ebay and one on the marketplace. I also gave one away which felt good too. I have been quite ill the past few days as I've contracted a virus. My whole body is aching and tender and I've not been out of bed for more than a few minutes at a time. It's playing havoc with control of the ol' diabetes, which is poor at best.

I just wanted to say thankyou again everyone. It feels good to have rearranged my priorities into an order which puts the family first. The UAS has been raging out of control and I can honestly say, the more I sell, the more I want to get rid of now. Actually, I can't get rid of them quick enough. It feels like being washed clean. I will still keep a good handful but I have a number more to pass on before I get to that place. I have gone from 24 a few months back to 13 now. I intend to sell perhaps 6 or 7 more.

If this sounds like the euphoria of someone giving up drugs and feeling clean and new, it's because that is what it is like. I was a big drug taker for many years and it's almost like ukuleles replaced the other drugs. I used to joke that at least ukes weren't destroying my body, but in fact, they were destroying my life in different ways - the emotional weight, the feeling of being enslaved to something, the highs and lows of impulse buying, the drained bank balance. I have always had addictive, compulsive habits and the UAS has taken its toll. I have not often felt so determined about anything as I do about this. I now have 800 in a savings account and just over 1000 in paypal balance being transferred to my bank account as I write this.

I am reminded of a lovely ol' Christian worship tune, "Change My Heart, O God". I feel like this is what is happening. Like being set free. Perhaps it sounds a little melodramatic but this is how I feel. I am determined to just play a few ukes a lot and really get to know and love them, rather than play 30 and not feel that attachment to any. Blessings to all who read this thread and offered support to me verbally, by way of prayer, through PM or otherwise. Thanks for reading this rejoinder.

brucemoffatt
05-07-2011, 02:15 AM
Strength, wisdom and knowledge are not diminished by sharing them with others. This is the power of friendship and community. This thread is doing a lot of good for a lot of us.

Please remember to cut yourself a little bit of slack. Humour and music will see you right.

I'm not in the least bit religious, unlike others in the forum, however I am really hoping to see you enter the contest for the OldPhart pocket uke.

Cheers mate.

Pippin
05-07-2011, 03:12 AM
I have been fortunate that when the need arose, I was always able to sell some musical equipment, guitars in particular, to have some extra money. I just bought back a guitar that I sold a few years ago because at that time, I could use the "extra" money to pay an unexpected bill when the furnace was not working and while awaiting repair, I paid the high-cost of electricity by selling one Martin guitar that was sitting in the closet. Now, it was my turn. I bought that guitar from the friend who bought it from me because he could use the money. I now have three guitars-- two of them Martins.

I know one man that sold a bunch of his ukulele collection and bought a house. No kidding. He lives in New England (affluent area, too). Musical instruments CAN BE a good investment, but don't use that as an excuse to buy them unless the goal is to turn them over for a profit. Then, it is not about hoarding, it is about business (if that is your bag).

My own ukulele collection is not expansive. I have several, it's true. I have sold ukuleles mostly to enable me to finance Ukulele Player Magazine. I have also kept several ukuleles for playing and recording. I could make money with the magazine if I chose to do so, but it is not about money, it is about music and the love of ukulele. I have given ukuleles to performers and ukulele instructors so that they were using instruments with the manufacturer's name clearly visible on the headstock. I feel that the exposure is great for the manufacturers and the performers are given an instrument to use at no expense to them. Everybody wins in scenarios like that one.

Jon, Blessings to YOU and YOURS. You are a rich man and might not have thought about it. You own a farm. Nobody is making any more land. That is a blessing. You have a loving wife and I have a feeling from your story on the original post, she is a treasure. You have a couple of kids and I would guess that they love you and respect you.

Wealth can come and go, but, love is priceless. We can't take riches with us when we leave this world. So, for me, I am always reminded that TIME is precious. There is an old Biblical teaching: "redeem the time..." yes, don't squander it. Time is finite from our worldly perspective. That's why, I make it a point to tell the people that I love how I feel about them every day. I am glad I have always done so. Now, as a cancer survivor (yes, it was totally removed and I was blessed in that I didn't need chemo or radiation treatments at all), I am even more aware that time is the one thing we all need to treasure most of all. We have the chance to make the most of life and love.

For many years, one of my goals has been to make people smile, to make people feel good inside. It doesn't matter what the color of their skin is, or their religion, or anything else... if I can fill people's minds with positive thoughts and bring happiness to people, then it is a good thing. If I only had the money to help everyone in need, I would do it without hesitation. A fortune I don't have, yet I am fortunate that I have music, passion, love, and a wonderful wife.

Jon, what makes a difference with everyone is an "attitude of gratitude" I tell people to start by being grateful for what we have and MORE will be given to us. So, count your blessings and at the head of your list place your wife, your children, and your friends.

Maiyah888
05-07-2011, 05:17 AM
<i>If this sounds like the euphoria of someone giving up drugs and feeling clean and new, it's because that is what it is like. I was a big drug taker for many years and it's almost like ukuleles replaced the other drugs. I used to joke that at least ukes weren't destroying my body, but in fact, they were destroying my life in different ways - the emotional weight, the feeling of being enslaved to something, the highs and lows of impulse buying, the drained bank balance. I have always had addictive, compulsive habits and the UAS has taken its toll. I have not often felt so determined about anything as I do about this. I now have 800 in a savings account and just over 1000 in paypal balance being transferred to my bank account as I write this. </i>

I think this is so very true. It seems to me that making your process so public is helping many people, including me. Thank you for following through and taking the steps necessary to improve your family's situation.

If the underlying wiring of the brain and emotions is incomplete, the process will look for another source of stimulation.

My current addiction/compulsion is facilitating the re-wiring of addictions/compulsions to more productive behaviors, while also undoing the underlying consciousness issues that cause the addiction/compulsion.

Back in college I was bulemic. Then I spent 2 - 4 hours per day doing martial arts and weight lifting. In my late 20s early 30s I spent waaaaaaaay too much and then I paid it off.

I think that going through such experiences has made me a more compassionate practitioner and facilitator.

All good wishes to you for many amazing positive results from your changes, beyond your wildest imaginings!

UkeNukem
05-07-2011, 07:47 AM
Eugene, when I read your original post it struck me as an incredibly brave thing to do, confess you have a problem collecting the very things this forum is focused. After reading the thread to this point it seems that perhaps the Ukulele is not the focus of this forum but lifting people up. That is why most of us play the Uke, or other instruments, is to lift up ourselves and others. The posts on this thread show how we each can lift up ourselves and others in many different ways and most cost us no money at all!

One thing you said I think all of us either have or will need to face in human life - "decisions must be made and now seems the right time to make them". That's it right there. We all need to make decisions in life an often we avoid making the decision for fear of the unknown or even the known consequences. This one statement potentially has helped many others who have read this thread, beyond the UU members we naturally think of. Many of us were lurkers before joining.

I do have one bit of advice though. Instead of thinking about this period as Ukulele collecting (bad) -> problem recognized (guilt) -> decision made (pain) -> action taken (good), remember that the money you spent of these ukuleles originally was a blessing to many other people. You helped business people have another profitable month, you helped people to provide for their families, and you encouraged the dreams of craftspeople. You will never know what good you provided in this world through those purchases.

It's all good, you are going to be ok, Bro. :cheers:

mr moonlight
05-07-2011, 09:49 AM
I use to be addicted to collecting fairly expensive vintage fountain pens. I used to buy and refurbish them. Not having the cash to fund my addiction I had to find a way to make it fund itself. So I started buying, refurbishing and selling pens. Everything I made went back into buying more pens to work on and the tools to do it with. Never made a penny, but got to enjoy my pen collecting without the guilt or financial strain. Don't know if it's your sort of thing, but since you already spend a lot of time with the ukulele, perhaps you could make it fund a little bit of itself. Post online tutorials and accept donations sort of thing. A lot of people have gotten a lot out of the vids you put up and I'm sure a number of them would love to give a little back, especially if you could help teach a few of those great songs you play.

Maiyah888
05-07-2011, 11:41 AM
^ great idea!

Pippin
05-07-2011, 07:35 PM
I use to be addicted to collecting fairly expensive vintage fountain pens. I used to buy and refurbish them. Not having the cash to fund my addiction I had to find a way to make it fund itself. So I started buying, refurbishing and selling pens. Everything I made went back into buying more pens to work on and the tools to do it with.

You should get to know Auggie LoPrinzi. His pens are some of the most beautiful pieces I have ever seen.

ukuloonie
05-07-2011, 08:26 PM
A lot of UU's have given great advice,
My wife has health issues, so were on a low income and I admit I feel a little jealous, well a little more than that, of others having beautiful instruments, but I have to keep reminding myself that I can only play one Ukulele at a time and they mostly play the same notes, about this poor dog that has fleas.
You make good music, with any uke you play and the songs that you sing.
I look forward to the next competition and the youtoobz that you upload.

mr moonlight
05-08-2011, 06:13 PM
You should get to know Auggie LoPrinzi. His pens are some of the most beautiful pieces I have ever seen.

Alas, I have since kicked the habit. Now I just keep a handful of my vintage favorites and limit myself to one or two Pelicans as daily writers. Now I'm on to collecting ukulele's!

Pippin
05-08-2011, 09:27 PM
Alas, I have since kicked the habit. Now I just keep a handful of my vintage favorites and limit myself to one or two Pelicans as daily writers. Now I'm on to collecting ukulele's!

Auggie's daughter Donna makes LoPrinzi ukuleles (beautiful ukes) while Auggie is actually famous for his guitars. They hail from Tampa Bay area.

Ghibli
05-09-2011, 02:53 AM
hey mr moonlight
same here - used to collect vintage FPs, particularly jade/radite ones. Pelikans are an excellent choice for daily writers, I own a few Pelikans, one is a vintage 400 in brown tortoiseshell with a beautiful 14K OBB nib.
Funny feeling when you stop doing something you've done passonately over a number of years.

Ghibli
05-09-2011, 02:56 AM
Sorry guys, just realised I would not want to hijack Eugene's thread.
Back to ukes!

Plainsong
05-09-2011, 04:37 AM
As we've moved on from ukes to pens, you can tell this is a forum of people prone to collecting things. Before I found the uke, I was a musician without an instrument anymore. I was in a strange and often unfriendly country, nowhere to play a clarinet, no choir open to new members, no community theater with open auditions for anything. I didn't have music anymore. I didn't speak the language, my husband was supportive but couldn't fully get it.

And so I found I could listen to music and I found a site to totally enable doing that the best way your wallet can't afford: Head-fi. And so I collected multiple headphones and multiple sources and multiple amps and cables and all that. It was beyond all reason, and I started to have that feeling of self-loathing you spoke of. So what I did was downsize. I always want to listen to music with decent gear so I sold what was useless and kept what was useful. I still have a couple more portable cans to sell though. It's on my to-do list. (Alessandro ms-1is and Aiaiai TMA-1s with an extra cable if interested.)

At head-fi, there are lots of watch collectors. Someone posted a pic of the Sinn 356 UTC (a midsize chronograph), and that was it. I had to get into watches. I got into fliegers and divers mostly. And it's the dive watch collectors who really go bonkers for all sorts of boutique brands you absolutely have to have right now. I ended up with all sorts that I'll never wear, and got that feeling of self-loathing again. When I sold off that collection I did sell some ones I should have kept but oh well. I've learned that I still like a nice watch, but I can do with 6 very extremely-over-the-moon happy. Only two of those which are pricey, the remaining are just cool or interesting or I just like 'em.

Then I got contacts and for the first time I could get some cool sunglasses. I got a pair of Oakley Whiskers and was hooked. I found the forum that would feed that need, and I collected all sorts of rare colorways and crazy stuff. But it is kind of insane and Oakley isn't even all that anymore. I prefer Maui Jims anyway. I still have 4 pairs, and who cares. :)

Then I found the uke, and, well, the same pattern repeated. But the difference here is that this is an instrument that makes music. And finding the uke playing community is like coming home. But to be honest, when I browse the site it's usually at night when my husband's asleep and I'm feeling homesick because it's been 5 years since I've been home, and my family doesn't want me there at all. What fills that void? Buying ukes! Playing music on an instrument that's a keeper - nothin' better in terms of the small pleasures in life. But you get that self-loathing again when you start to accumulate more than you can play.

I'm at the end of my UAS road. Oh we joke about never being at the end, but these things are meant to be _played_. I've got the Mighty Uke coming, that'll be a good bang around uke. I've got the Mya-moe this fall/winter, and that'll be my first and last custom. I've also always wanted a Koaloha concert and I feel that if I got one, it'd get played. The Kanile'a is my tenor in a concert body. The Ohana sk-38 is my vintagetastic soprano. The sailor uke is my longer necked soprano that can also be plugged in. The Eleuke - is the solidbody. <-- And all this is way more than anyone needs, but I will be and am already over the moon happy with it.

That leaves at least one and maybe two on the chopping block: The poor Mainland concert that never did anything to anyone and never put a foot wrong and sounds way more than the price tag would let on. And perhaps the Howlett Helsinki Ukulele. - Again also a spectacular uke, I mean way spectacular. Too spectacular to sell, but too spectacular to not play either. See the problem there? I'll not be hasty with that choice, but it needs to be played.

So maybe it's not as bad as it used to be, but I get that creeping feeling of self-loathing thinking of ukes I have but don't play.

Thanks Eugene, for this little confessional thread you started! As you can see, we're all in the same boat. I don't have lots of heavy debt but could stand to save more.

Let us be there to give you support and encouragement, but don't let us enable you.

mythidiot
05-09-2011, 09:57 AM
I'm sure my comment will seem a little out of place, but to me it seems related. I have spent the last three years getting out of debt. Some of the debt was school, some business, some sports cars, etc... long story short, I have gotten out of debt and become very focused on smart and realistic money practices that are common amongst those that are "winning" the money game. I've noticed those that take saving and spending to the extreme. The first hoards money and doesn't live life, the second has a short-lived thrill of purchasing and then regrets. The balance between the two is very important (as has been noted). The trick is to enjoy life and spend a little, but have a written budget and plan for your money so that you can save a little too. Several principles that have really helped my wife and I:
1. God wants you to succeed and do well
2. Save at least 10% of your income
3. Have a written budget that you and your spouse agree on (it can change from month to month)
4. Have an "allowance" or "mad money" for you and your spouse that you can save or spend on anything without question from anyone
5. Save up a 3-6 month emergency fund (only what it would take to live on basics for that time)
6. Plan ahead for fun purchases. When you pay in cash that you planned for, you'll never regret that purchase.
7. Avoid books, speakers, messages, etc that promise huge riches fast with no work. Financial success comes from work and slow planning and spending.

All in all, you will do well. You will find a balance. Things will be good. You'll find selling things to be therapeutic (but make sure to keep a few that you play). Having a plan for your money and ukes will bring you peace.

Best of luck!

Pippin
05-09-2011, 10:06 AM
@mythidiot... excellent post.

luvdat
05-09-2011, 11:56 AM
Eugene, what matters at this point is not beating yourself up or continuing to feel ashamed since to do so further would only be another form of self-absorption and self-indulgence. In short, how bad you feel matters less than the positive steps you are taking, continue to take, and staying on track.

You said in passing, "We have 2 younger children who depend on us." That indeed is the nature of children.

Distinguish want vs. need. Distinguish passing feelings from your duties.

Ronnie Aloha
05-10-2011, 04:39 PM
Eugene,

Good luck in doing what is best for your family. One uke is really all you need. One day, when the kids are grown and on their own, then it will be all about YOU! : )

I'm glad you took a look at the big picture. Your family is lucky to have you...and we are lucky to have you as a member of the UU family.

mythidiot
05-13-2011, 05:03 AM
@mythidiot... excellent post.
Thanks. Its been quite a struggle, but very rewarding. I had $12,000 worth of debt in video and sound equipment that I loved. It was a difficult choice to sell it all "at a loss" (and my motorcycle and car and ...) but once I started selling it, it was very therapeutic. The main thing I regret is the sacrifices that my wife had to make because of my actions, but she did so cheerfully and we are both better off for it now.

monsterjones
05-13-2011, 07:36 AM
I'm no psycho analyst but that sounds like a classic case of hoarder's syndrome. That's a bit beyond your "normal" UAS. They say the first step in resolving any behavioral problem is recognizing that it exists.

At least you haven't gone deeply in debt over this as many people do.

I'd start paying attention to what ukuleles you play, and which you don't. The former are bringing you pleasure, the latter anxiety. It really doesn't matter which ukes fal into which category - if the Dolphins and Lanikais bring you more real pleasure than the expensive ukes you're afraid to take out of the case, then keep the Dolphins and Lanikais and don't let anyone tell you different.

I have six ukes right now - the "best" of them is a KoAloha concert. While that is the "best" of my ukes it is the first one I would let go because, while it's easily my best sounding uke it isn't the one that brings me the most joy. In fact, I've discovered that I like the concert scale length but I'm not crazy about the concert body's "fullness" of sound - I like a more ukey sound. The long and short of it is that if I had to get rid of all my ukuleles but one right now the one I would keep is my only laminated uke! Granted, it's not a cheap uke, but it is nearly the cheapest of the lot. Still, that Kiwaya longneck soprano is the uke I go to time, after time, after time.

I wouldn't abandon ukuele because chances are you will just find something else to scratch that hoarder's itch. It's obvious from your videos that playing and singing bring you great pleasure and relief from stress - and with the kind of job you have that's essential. So, I'd make that list of which ukes bring you pleasure and which are just expensive headaches. Gradually thin the heard of expensive headaches (don't dump 'em all at once or you'll take a beating on the prices you get).

Just my $.02.

This has been my experience too...Bill

pepamahina
05-14-2011, 02:24 PM
This very important post is making me wonder something. Are there others besides me that would like to see posts about UAS moved to their own forum section? I think it would be helpful for those of us who need to keep temptation at a distance, myself included. It could be a place where everyone can post their "guess what's coming tomorrow?", or "look at my custom Mya-Moe" threads. I think the separation could be good. What do you guys think?

UkeNukem
05-15-2011, 03:57 AM
We are all in denial (except Eugene).

Landshark
05-15-2011, 07:21 AM
It is very commendable to admit ones faults and take steps to correct them, but at the same time one should not feel disgust or shame because of past mistakes.
Also you can not blame the postings and discussions about new ukes, it is not the forums or the Ukes that makes one become obsessive, it is the choices we make that put us in these positions.
I am obsessive with most all of my interests but have always tried to keep them in check relative to my ability to appreciate and/or pay for them. Example wine I adore wine and have a nice cellar of wines but one has to put a limit on what you can spend on a single bottle, relative tour income, no matter what one reads about on the forums. You can become obsessive with anything and the problem is that whatever hole one has in their life, it will never be filled by just acquiring more. Just buy the best one you can afford and enjoy it.

OldePhart
05-15-2011, 09:52 AM
This very important post is making me wonder something. Are there others besides me that would like to see posts about UAS moved to their own forum section? I think it would be helpful for those of us who need to keep temptation at a distance, myself included. It could be a place where everyone can post their "guess what's coming tomorrow?", or "look at my custom Mya-Moe" threads. I think the separation could be good. What do you guys think?

I think that's going a bit far. Kind of like banning alcohol because there are alcoholics. :) Seriously, I think most of us enjoy those posts and I don't think corraling them into a quarantine area would even be possible.