Yesterday I drove to the store and bought flooring and a new vanity. It was a big step for me, but it went better than it could have. Lately I've been thinking about doing things around the house and spending money to achieve what I think I want. I didn't sleep well last night. Part of that is probably the heat and humidity that bathed everything in oppressive mugginess, the other part was a wave of deep sadness and a longing to see the girls again. I wanted to go back in time, apologize for everything, and just spend some time holding them. But I can't do that so I went to the store instead. I bought some pillows for Jill's room and laundry bins that I still haven't used because I'm tired and sore and feel like crying. There are many paths to take in life, and I've really gotten very far away from what I see is my ultimate vision. I can buy things like pillows and laundry baskets and I think that some people would question those purchases.
Without trying to justify spending, for me it's very hard to walk into a store and realize that those decisions are now mine to make. It's a heady type of freedom to be able to pick up an object, put it into my cart or bag, buy it, get home, and not have anyone else commenting on it. I'm not really sure how I got to a place in my life where I believed that I wasn't worth some throw pillows and laundry baskets. Not all of my purchases are great, last night I saw a pillow I hadn't bought the last time I was at the store. I bought it last night and now I'm not sure it really does what I thought it would do, but this is the learning process that goes along with shopping. I never learned how to buy something and take it back because it didn't work and not because I felt guilty about buying it in the first place. A goal of mine was a laundry station in my room and I've collected some pieces to see if I can make that work. My thought is to bring the laundry up in a basket and divvy things into categories as I go through it.
The people I admire are doing things and I've decided that I'm going to stop apologizing and feeling guilty for spending money on things that make my life simpler, easier, or prettier. It is really nice to be able to sink into a cloud of pillows after a long day. I love looking at the contrast between my navy blue pillow, my bright white comforter, and my bright orange towel. It isn't anything deeper than seeing something and having a good feeling spread through me. I want to watch out for what happened last night is linking sadness to shopping too often, but it did make me feel somewhat better so I'm not going to condemn retail therapy entirely. This morning I listened to a podcast that a friend of mine did. While I was sitting on the couch I thought about what I had learned. The guest said that he was an expert now that he was out of his former role, and an idiot while he had been there. He was probably being somewhat facetious, but I could really relate to that.
He was very open minded and shrewd, there was a lightness that belied the mental toughness people are often talking about others needing. The other day I watched a segment that had another higher up for the Dodgers, I just loved how relaxed and fun he was. It was shocking to me to see and hear these men who have very stressful jobs being so candid and funny. They were serious at times, but I felt like they really understood that life is transitory and decisions you make today need years of processing time before they can be evaluated. Just as an experiment I pretended I was traveling into the future to see what I would say about this time in my life five or ten years from now. I heard a little voice whispering to me, I couldn't hear everything this voice said, but some of the fragments I heard were - work hard, take some breaks, go wild, but not too wild. For so long I've let my spouse and family control me. I've run ideas past them and let them influence me instead of living my life and just doing what I wanted to do. I am being a little crazy, but this is what I need to do now to feel like those chains aren't restricting me like they have in the past.
I remember listening to people talk about parenting and how some people will rebel when they get older if their parents are so controlling they don't get that chance as a teenager. My teenage self didn't get the chances I have now. I was conditioned to work, to work hard, harder than almost everyone else I was working with, but I never learned how to take a portion of that money I had earned and just go nuts with it. The part I'm missing now is a budget, some retirement planning, and the ultimate realization that your possessions are just things in your life, but dang does it feel good to look at my couch or my daughter's room and see what I've been able to do in there for her and myself. My whole life got turned upside down when I got divorced. I'm safer now than I was, but I'm still living with a fear based mentality, like someone is going to burst into the house and start yelling at me for buying more throw pillows. Today I'm saying, bring it buddy, I don't care what you think and you can't tell me what to do. I'm very anxious just writing about this, but I'm going to clean, and I'm beyond excited for what things are going to look like several months or a year from now. I'm making some mistakes, but at least this time they're mine and I can more fully own them. Knowing I have the freedom and power to do some of these things is so thrilling, I feel drunk on emotion and high on life. The tumble down will be painful, but for now I'm flying high. It's a great way to start the day...