The Finer Things

In the midst of the world of upheaval that I have been in for several weeks now, I finally found myself a moment to take for me, just me. As much as I love to declare the importance of self-care and self-love, it can be really hard to put it into practice. It is especially difficult if it involves spending money.

When times are tough and money is tight, and even when it isn’t, many of us have a hard time spending money on ourselves. I know there are also many who have no problem with this whatsoever, and that is perfectly grand! But for some, when we spend money on ourselves we feel guilty. Especially if we suffer from a chronic illness that does not allow us to be the kind of money-maker that we would like to be or if we are dependent on others for help or support. And if we are caretakers of others, like precious children who are relying on us for all of their needs, that makes the challenge of self-indulgence sometimes feel unbearable. There is a sense that I am robbing my kids of something they may need if I spend money on me.

So let this all preface my most recent adventure.

Night before last I went to Nordstrom. The land where dreams are often made. I wandered around the shoe department and a bit in the handbags. On my exit, I looked up and was greeted by the kindest smile at the Lancome counter. It was the kind of smile that said, it’s okay, I will smile at you even if you aren’t buying anything from me! So, I went over to the counter and asked her (Jennifer) about their mascaras (everyone always raves about their Definicils mascara but I don’t care for it). Our conversation turned and I shared with her that I have been wanting to learn how to better bring attention to and open up my eyes with make-up. She offered kindly to set an appointment with me and for me to even bring in my very own make-up and she would help me work with what I have! (so super sweet) So I did, I set up the appointment and I had my visit with her yesterday.

It was so fun and Jennifer was so sweet. She used a lot of my make-up and she also enhanced the look with some things from their product line, but all in all, she was really into showing me how to do it myself, not about roping me in to spend a ton of money. It was the most fun and least amount of pressure I have ever felt at a make-up counter! I ended up purchasing two things, and she even threw in some free lipstick. I also have to say that I looked quite nice after my time with Jennifer. She was good really good and didn’t load me up with too much!

Feeling good about myself, I went upstairs to the women’s clothing department. I have lost a somewhat significant amount of weight recently and I desperately need some clothes that fit. I had a blast as the girl who was helping me positively doted on me, bringing me things she thought I would look good in and new sizes if I needed them. At one point I started crying with pure joy because I couldn’t believe how all of my hard work and new healthy habits have paid off. I felt really proud of who I saw in the mirror (and I am no super model!). I was having my own little celebration in the dressing room. I wanted to jump up and down and scream, but I thought better of it. I was grinning from ear to ear.

I bought a couple of pieces, but I couldn’t afford to purchase the dress (oh the beautiful dress!) that I really wanted. Even still, the buyer’s remorse and guilt set in almost immediately. “Do I deserve these new clothes, really? Is this really what I should do with my money?” (mind you, I have hardly any clothes left that will stay up around my waist, but I was still feeling undeserving) It was a great reminder of how hard it can be for me to shower myself with the finer things in life. I am pretty much ok with buying myself a top at Target (especially if it’s on clearance!), but when it comes to getting some items from Nordstrom (even off of the fabulous sale rack) I feel guilt, guilt, guilt.

I didn’t allow the guilt to ruin the experience. I am filled with a lot of good and healthy celebratory thoughts. I feel powerful and proud of myself for the accomplishments I’ve made. I’ve decided I am worth being spoiled (in complete moderation) and I am working to accept that I did nothing wrong by rewarding myself, taking care of my need to be clothed, and buying myself a couple of basics that I really do need.

Do you ever have a hard time spoiling yourself in any manner? Do you feel guilty afterwards. I almost always do, and it’s something that I plan to continue working on. Of coarse, when money is an issue, it’s important to keep the rewards and treats realistic and within budget, but as long as that is being done, shouldn’t we feel good about some extra TLC? Do those of us with chronic illness and or mental health issues have an even more difficult time with this or this just about a feeling of self-worth that so many of us contend with?

As a little piece of wisdom:

Go ahead, indulge (within reason and responsibly). We all deserve to treat ourselves like the most wonderful and special people that we are!

Here is a picture of me, after the makeover (remember, make-up only, and several hours later but still feeling pampered!)

14 thoughts on “The Finer Things

  1. I know that for myself, I do have a hard time thinking I’m worth the “finer” things in life. I have to admit, when I had my children is when it all seemed to change…but I think in a good way. Now, if I want something, it is usually something within reason and something sensible. Occasionally I will let myself get highlights in my hair, or dye it a new color (darker or lighter, not totally out there!) Thank you for sharing your experience. It is a reminder to me that simple things can mean a lot to us with mental health issues. (And your makeup looks fabulous!)

    • Thank you April!
      Simple things can mean a lot, they can be the “finer things” for sure. We get to define what the finer things in life are! I agree, children change it all, especially where our own needs and wants are concerned. Funny, it is much easier to buy a want for my children than it is to even buy a need for myself sometimes!
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I really appreciate it.

  2. GREAT PIECE, Amy! Wow! You have really become a fabulous writer – this is compassionate, informational, fun and entertaining! And YES…I do feel guilty when I pamper myself. Here is what a shopping trip with me looks like – this is to Walmart mind you ~grin~
    * I find something I really want to have and put it in the basket – I may pick up several items that match etc. Then about halfway to the finish line I will begin to put it all back. Sometimes a little something may actually make it to the cash register – but 9 out of 10 times I end up handing it to the cashier and saying something like, “I really don’t need this.”
    So, BRAVO to you for getting out the door with something special in your bag — something really special just for you!
    Let me see if I can figure out where to VOTE for your blog!
    Hugs and Love,

    • Oh Kimberly,
      I can relate all too well to shopping trips like you’ve described! Truly!
      Thank you so much for your kindness and support.
      Hugs and love back,

  3. I’m so glad you had a great time, and those purchases will help you to continue to feel better about yourself, and to maintain your healthy regime.
    Will write more in answer to your questions re money, guilt, etc. later.
    Congrats to you for your weight loss and enjoyment of your own self!

  4. Great post, and way to take some self care time. Isn’t it great to see the benefits of making healthy choices:) I’m so happy that you were able to take some time and get pampered!

  5. What a lovely post! My mother would only pamper herself on her birthday. She and my father seemed to think that being a parent and pursuing your own goals, hobbies, or luxuries were mutually exclusive. I think the best thing parents can do is to be happy, healthy, and take care of themselves – I’m not a parent but that’s my guess. You look beautiful! You’ve inspired me to pick up some summer clothes I desperately need for work…

    • Thank you so very much! I am happy to know that I’ve inspired you to treat yourself and take care of you, even if they are necessities! It can be a lot of fun to try new kinds of clothes/styles, etc. Thank you for sharing, reading and commenting!

  6. I don’t shop at Nordstroms and certainly would not appreciate makeup. But there is a great lesson here. By selflessly giving of themselves and making you feel good they were able to get a “relationship” with you. You were happy to browse the store and spend more money. Just think of the power of positivity! Nordstroms uses it, but it is powerful in all areas of our lives!

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