Retail Therapy



You can invest in yourself in multiple ways, but everything boils down to two things – time and money. I easily default to doing both of these things for everyone – and anyone – other than for myself.

Considering how easily I can justify expenditures for my children’s sake (because every child needs a $48 outfit for their American Girl doll) it should be easy to treat myself, but I have a hard time investing in myself that way; or, perhaps it’s not that hard, but there is some guilt that accompanies purchases for myself that I can’t shake. It feels good to splurge on things that my kids both need and want. It’s also easier. I know that I can walk into a store, pick up a pair of 5T jeans and a Toddler size 9 pair of sneakers, and they’ll fit – no need to spend hours going from website to website, rack to rack, dressing room to dressing room. My almost 14-year-old is a different story; her ability to invest in herself (or rather voice her desire for me to invest in her) in both time spent in dressing rooms and money spent on clothing, is admirable.

“My friend told me this hilarious story about having a French roommate who was watching her get changed one day and said, in her thick Parisian accent, “Your underwear makes me believe you are sad and hate your life.” My friend looked down at her utilitarian cotton panties, an old pair from a five-pack purchased at Target and thought, But they’re bikinis, at least they’re not the high-waisted granny ones, doesn’t that count for something?”

– You Are a Badass at Making Money, by Jen Sincero.

You’re either someone who invests in this particular area, or you’re like me; I’m not sad, nor do I hate my life, but you get where I’m going. I’m in the “I’d be slightly to mildly to extremely embarrassed to tell you the last time I purchased a new bra for myself” category. They’re a necessary evil, easily neglected and, if you’re where I fall in that latter category, a sad part of your everyday life.

Perhaps your top drawer doesn’t need any revitalizing, and it’s got plenty of life to give you yet, but I’m sure there are other small, mundane areas of your life that you could sprinkle some joy into. I once set out to find a happy cereal bowl; a bowl that I could use every morning to start my day. Sometimes, that one bowl changes my morning.

Go buy a great book, or better yet, a planner (I have a recommendation for you, if you’re interested in one). Take a bath with luxurious oils or salts. Buy yourself some flowers. Schedule a day to try on and purchase some staple, quality pieces (and perhaps a new bra) and take yourself out to lunch. Book, and keep the appointment for, a massage or a facial. Buy yourself a $2.99 cereal bowl that makes you smile. Do what you can to make sure that in all corners of your life, even the ordinary, every day ones, you are cultivating happiness and love for yourself while you’re doing the same for everyone else.

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