Even when I had discretionary income (pre-motherhood days), it was hard parting with money. I always thought there should be some satisfaction in the experiences money afforded, but I never enjoyed what it bought me (being secretly afraid something would happen and I couldn’t earn more).
With motherhood (and shortly thereafter the demise of my marriage) money became a precious commodity. I doled it out begrudgingly when it came to me. When it came to my child, I derived satisfaction from the fact her needs were always met — be it by actual exchange of cash, barter, sweat equity, or even burying my pride and brown-nosing. (As for her wants, with a lot of creativity many of those were fulfilled as well.)
Part of what made it possible to cover her needs (even when there wasn’t much to work with), was cutting back on non-essentials. I didn’t have the patience for making the garage sale circuit; however, I learned to maximize my return in thrift stores. I never viewed the thirty-cent socks, fifty-cent shirts, or two dollar pants as a sacrifice or burden. I was grateful for living in a place where such stores flourished.
I share the above so you can better understand how extraordinary the following experience was.
While perusing a thrift store for a few needed items I happened upon a new, plum colored, soft, lacy … what? skimpy little nightie? teddy? lovely lingerie? bit of frippery? Whatever you call it, it was gorgeous, rich in color, and oh so wonderfully beautiful. I immediately sent a picture to my daughter asking if she wanted it. Her reply was negative. Reaching to put it back I felt a seismic shift inside. I realized I was holding something that made me inordinately happy. It brought me immense joy, along with a deep desire to own and wear it. Not for the sake of entertaining or seducing another, but simply because it brought me joy. So I bought it. I spent the “outrageous” sum of nine dollars on myself for something I did not need just because it gave me pleasure.
It’s been four days. There hasn’t been a moment, a second, or a fleeting breath of buyer’s remorse. On the contrary, looking at the garment, thinking about it, or even feeling it on my skin, I feel unadulterated joy.
If you are familiar with and experience joy regularly, your life must be wonderful. I see how easily joy can become addictive, emboldening you to delve into joy-inducing experiences. If however, like me, this is more of an alien and foreign concept to you, here’s wishing you and joy soon become the best of friends!
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