Saturday, 28 July 2012

Retail Therapy

Money Tree
First, as a disclaimer, I would just like to say that I am actually very frugal by nature. Not cheap, but frugal. I was the 8 year old who put her birthday money away in her savings account "for university." However, desperate times call for desperate measures. My separation was a desperate time.

As anyone who has been through a separation will tell you, it's not fun. And for many (most?) of us, it's not pretty, either. It's also a time when you're not feeling so great about yourself - because, after all, if you really were hot stuff, your husband would not have felt the need to go on a quest for a new soulmate while you were desperately trying to save your marriage.*

However, if ever there is a time when a little splurge will go a long way, this is it. I decided to allow some non-essential spending on things that would help me be my best self. Here is what happened:

1. Wardrobe Update
The combined stress of separation, moving, and work led to a 10-15 lb weight loss. Suddenly, a good chunk of my clothes didn't fit all that well. Purchasing a few classic items allowed me show up at work without feeling frumpy because my outfit was a size too big. Also, I gave myself permission to give away: a) all my dresses that reminded me of special occasions with my husband, and b) anything I just really didn't want to wear anymore.

2. The Revamping of My Undergarment Collection
A good day can become a great day when you know your bra and panties match. I'll leave it at that. Oh wait, actually I won't. During my underwear exploration, I happened to purchase some amazing lacy panties that make me think "Man, my butt looks great in these!" every time I wear them. Whether or not my posterior is embellished by these undergarments that - as of right now - no one else has ever seen, is inconsequential. The fact is, it totally gives me a bit of a self-esteem boost on a fairly regular basis (I bought three pairs). And so, I recommend to all women all over the world to find a pair of panties that makes them feel great. For themselves. This is about feeling good in your skin, not about what the rest of the world thinks. If granny panties work for you, go with that. (I, in fact, have a fairly large collection of granny panties. I exercise a lot - wedgies mid-jogging are the worst.)

3. Skincare Products
I spent a fair amount of money on good quality skincare products, which was quite the deviation from my regular routine of Spetro Jel only. For a while, I enjoyed the at-home spa moments with my clay masks and emu oil moisturizers. Eventually, I realized my new products were drying out my skin, and I went back to the Spectro Jel. That said, I still have no regrets about the whole project because it was so key at that time to feel a little pampered. I am now having a lot of fun exploring making my own skincare products.

4. Books
My collection has grown to include titles like Jon Kabat-Zinn's Wherever You Go, There You Are and other wellness books. I have also been reading inspirational titles like Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J. Stepanek and Bloom (Bloom was actually an incredibly thoughtful gift from a dear friend). I am trying to become more mindful in my day-to-day life. More indulgent have been my two new raw food uncookbooks, which brings us to....

5. Food
For someone of very average height and build, I spend an awful lot of money on food. Nutrition has been a huge focus of my self-care initiative, and healthy eating comes at a price. That said, I notice profound changes in my general sense of wellbeing when my diet is altered. Currently, I am on a bit of a raw food kick (just finished week 2). I feel that after everything I have been through over the last year, my body is in desperate need of rest and high-quality fuel to repair itself. So, I plan to continue eating copious quantities of fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds for now (and likely eventually reincorporate some animal protein in the not so distance future).

6. And I'm not done...
There are a few more indulgences planned on the horizon once my finances stabilize again:
- Food dehydrator
- Juicer
- Gym membership
- Girls' trip to Las Vegas
- Medicinal plant workshop

And so, I close this post by saying that although I do not recommend spending with reckless abandon, separation is a time when perhaps that splurge you have been debating is especially appropriate. It's a time to take care of yourself and a time to heal.

*For the record, months later, you will realize that you really are hot stuff, and that your now ex-husband is an idiot. The transition to this epiphany is a little rocky though.

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