Yesterday I remarked to a friend that it had been months, literally, since I "went shopping."
“My mom and I used to go shopping all the time,” I said, recalling fond memories of shopping trips and lunches out. “She loved to wander through the malls and stores, especially when the seasons changed. She rarely bought anything, and if she did, she usually returned it! But she enjoyed looking at all the ‘pretty things’ as she called them."
But shopping lost it’s luster for me a long time ago. First, my mom’s continually deteriorating mobility, coupled with her stubborn refusal to use a walker, meant we were confined to smaller stores, or those that had shopping carts (which she could use in lieu of a walker - go figure!). That meant Kohl’s, TJ Maxx, and Target. And while I like all those stores, I got tired of visiting them weekly.
Then I got old, and none of the fashions fit me in any way, shape, or form. My body style does not lend itself to skinny anything, much less jeans. And even if I wanted to bare my cleavage in low cut tops? Well, there’s just not much of anything to bare. Shopping for clothes has become an exercise in frustration, so I stick to my favorite black pants, t-shirts, and sweaters in styles fashionista wanna-be's might label “classic,” - but I simply call them “old-fashioned."
So I don’t shop much anymore. Without my mom’s company, there’s not much reason to. My current “old-fashioned” wardrobe is just fine for my pared down lifestyle. I have a good pair of black pants, a couple of nice sweaters and jackets for those few special occasions, like plays, concerts, or dinners out. Otherwise, my vintage slacks and t-shirts are just fine for dog walking, music rehearsals, and lunch with friends.
Occasionally, though, the urge to buy something for myself creeps over me. Sometimes, we just need to indulge ourselves - after all, if we don’t, who will? I have a few indulgences right now, and each one brings a bit of joy into the ordinary days.
One I savor every day are my Leuchtturm journals. For years, I’ve used cheap spiral notebooks for morning pages, on the theory that if the actual journaling notebook was “too nice,” I wouldn’t write the sometimes messy pages that morning journal keeping requires. But my friend Deb gifted me with two of these beautiful blank Leuchtturm books right after my mom died. Deb knows that I need to write to make sense of what’s going on my life, and I filled both of those books within the first four months of grieving. I promptly ordered four more, and am mid-way through the third. The lovely smooth pages, the binding that opens so nicely for writing across the seam, the gorgeous jewel toned colors, all combine to make them wonderful books that I will proudly keep on my shelves.
They are pricey, but I’m Worth It.
I’m taking care of my skin with awesome products from Rodan & Fields. After years of using a variety of skin care products, mostly those that were convenient to pick up in the drugstore, I finally took pity on my tired, blotchy face that was growing more sallow, saggy, and wrinkled by the day. After a trial of their eye cream, I was sold, and ordered the entire line of Renew skin care products online. There is definitely a difference! My skin not only looks better, it feels better too -very soft and pliant, with no tight dry spots. I love these products, and I love feeling as if I’m taking care of my skin when I use them.
They are pricey, but I’m Worth It.
Books have become a more regular indulgence lately. In our old house, I had books scattered willy-nilly everywhere. I didn’t have a dedicated library space, so they ended up stacked in the basement, in the bedrooms, in the closets...pretty much anywhere I could find some space. When we moved I disposed of hundreds of books, donating them to library book sales and charitable organizations. In our condo, I have a nice sized corner of the basement with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and after the great book purge there was four empty shelves to fill.
I’ve been filling them. I still use the library a lot, but I also buy more books than I once did. I’ve never minded spending money on books - for one thing, I know I’m supporting an author, and that’s an important issue for me. Now that I have room to store the books I know I’ll want to keep, I’m happy to spend money on them.
They are pricey sometimes, but I’m Worth It.
That’s really what I want to tell you. Sometimes, especially as I get older, I feel as if I’ve given all I have to give to this world. Most of you have, too. We’ve sacrificed a lot to raise children and shepherd them out into the world. We’ve worked hard at home and in the workplace. We’ve volunteered, we’ve shared our time and talents in huge varieties of ways. We’ve cared for aging parents and relatives, and cried over their loss. We don’t do these things in the hope of repayment or even reward, we do them because we love and care and want to do our best for our families and our world.
Maybe these small indulgences are really tiny validations we give ourselves, a way of saying "atta-girl," for a job well done.
A little way of saying, I’m Worth It on a daily basis.
How about you? What indulgences do you allow yourself because You’re Worth It?