The art of giving is complex. It is something that is along a continuum of small gestures to grand displays from one sparkler to the 4th of July fireworks over Boston. As the saying goes that charity begins at home, this also applies to giving of a similar type, the gifts we give to ourselves. I like flowers, not roses so much, as bunches of wildflowers in summer that I can buy for myself at a roadside stand, outside of someone’s yard,with a self service jar to put the cash and take the change. Often times I will drive by a few driveways and consider a purchase, until I stop and get a bunch, wrapped in wet paper towels, provided by the gardener and a recycled plastic bag so that they will stay fresh as I head home. They are displayed in a variety of glasses or pitchers or sometimes a vase and bring me joy and comfort. A few well spent dollars that make me happy. Sometimes as I am pushing my shopping cart past the florist in the supermarket, I look for something simple that grabs my eye and another bunch of flowers, sometimes irises, if I am splurging, join the deli meat, bread, cat food, and paper towels and leave with me.
Giving to ourselves in some fashion, is feeding our souls. It is part of self care and recognition that often we ourselves, know ourselves, and our needs (and sometimes our wants) better than anyone. Sometimes it signifies a sense of accomplishment at the end of the work week. Sometimes it is because I feel sad and flowers cheer me up. This is an acquired ability, learned over time, and recognizing that in order to give to others, I needed to know how to give to myself first. It is sort of the “if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy” way of thinking. Nothing selfish about paying attention to yourself so that when the going gets tough, you have some emotional reserve, in the form of something good you did for yourself. Walking is something I give myself, which is time spent alone, to come up with creative outlets and fodder for writing. The blog is part of this, that I do for me. I share it because it allows me to interact through comments and connections in a medium that is comfortable and balances out the solitude of writing.
In a moment of retail therapy as it is commonly called, I will try on shoes (my weakness) and think about whether they will make me have happy feet. Over time I have learned that comfortable feet are happy feet, and if the shoe fits and looks okay,and is comfortable, I will make room for another pair. I try to ascribe to the buy a pair, give a pair dictate, but sometimes the remembrance of the occasions of the shoe purchase makes it a little more difficult to say, thank you for your service, time to move along. I have always been a giver of food, advice and time for others among other things. I will always be that person and happy to do it, because this, too,is a feel good thing. When a bunch of flowers calls out to me, I am listening to my heart. When some very appealing shoes appear, I am generally then having a logical conversation with myself about those needs and wants. Sometimes logic prevails and other times the box of shoes and bouquet of flowers become a need and I give myself a gift. It works out. No looking back and just walking pretty. Have a good weekend.