There are three things in this world that I could tend to splurge on, if I let myself: books, plants and gardening supplies, and creative bath products from Lush. True, my list changes from year to year, but my current list has remained constant for the last three years.
Books. Ahhh. I’ve been putting the brakes on the number of books I’ve bought over the last few years, but if I didn’t deny myself, I’d invest in at least four books per month. When I was in NYC and rode the trains for up to two hours per day, I’d try to make sure I’d have a meaty novel stored away in my bag. It was such pleasure to open and get lost in my book while on the train. My day would bog down if I had to carry so much in my bag that there wasn’t room for a book. I was a voracious reader as a kid. When I got out of high school though, I stopped because I felt guilty reading anything that would lead me astray. I knew the Bible was deemed good to read, but because I wasn’t sure what else was acceptable, I took the safe route out of fear and gave up my love of reading in a martyer like way. How painful that was. I know now the sky is the limit for me book wise, and I will not be judged. Liberating, beautiful thought. Recently, I’ve been listening to audio books with my ear buds. I feel like a kid being read a bed time story. It makes me feel warm and safe, cared for, despite whatever the book is actually about. I get used to the intonation and texture of the reader’s voice, and I feel like that voice is a dear friend.
Plants. I have a grin from ear to ear just thinking about this spring’s garden. I once dug up a decent sized chunk of my parent’s front lawn. I turned it into a wildflower garden when I used to live at home while still in college. It was so enjoyable landscaping the yard, feeling the dirt beneath my hands and sculpting it to rise or curve just so. I would plot the curves of little pathways in dirt or stone, planning out the various colors and textures of plants. After I moved out of my parent’s home, I went through five years of no gardening as I moved in and out of various apartments that didn’t permit digging in the lawn. Then I spent five more years in NYC and became starved nature-wise. I would have to travel by train 45 minutes to go to a decent park just to get a plant and nature fix. But the parks there were congested, teeming with tourists and locals, so peace of mind was not to be had that easily. Now finally I am living in my hometown in an apartment where I have a garden plot that is about 6 feet by 5 feet. Karl and I are moving to our own home in a few months, and I will have basically the whole lawn to do whatever I want to it. I typically am a saver and not a spender, don’t have a shoe or jewelry fetish, don’t really shop for clothing, and can easily spend a day or two window shopping, coming home without buying something. But when it comes to plants, I don’t really monitor my spending. That is one joy that I splurge on. If my family members were to read this, they would say, “What?” My idea of splurging would actually be buying 1/10 of what I should for a garden, and hand crafting the rest.
So, books, garden supplies, and… Lush. Actually, to be honest, the cosmetic, beauty and bath aisle of any department store will do. I remember I’d go after work to the Rite Aid or Duane Reade down the street from my apartment when I lived in NYC. I’d go in simply to get a roll of toilet paper, and I’d end up dreamily in the make up aisle, or sniffing the deodorants. I think I have a thing about smelling good. When I was a kid, I was only allowed to take a bath once a week. So that stuck with me, and when I got old enough to shower anytime I wanted, I reveled in the luxury of it.
It’s funny. I’ve been fore-going showers on and off for the last four years. This illness has caused me to sometimes become too fatigued to undress and get a shower. Sometimes I get dizzy, light headed and nauseous in the shower and have to skip it or fore go it. Standing up to blow dry my hair has often been such an effort that I have had to lay down afterwards. To conserve energy, I’ve gone months where I could shower only every other day. For the first few years, this made me really angry. I’d be frustrated that I couldn’t even do the basics to keep myself clean. The last few months I’ve come to a place of calm, though. I think I’m more accepting of myself and take it in stride.
However, it’s almost spring, and I want to celebrate. I feel new on the inside, and I want to splurge on some girly stuff. I’ve been saving money for way too long. True, I don’t work and haven’t for four years. But it’s time to break free and treat myself. I want to order from the store Lush. If you’ve never gone in a Lush store, you’re in for a treat. It’s like Bath and Body works times 100. Visually, it looks like a haven, an oasis of color. And it smells divine.
When you first step in you kind of think you’re in a candy shop because it’s so bright, but the atmosphere seems slower, safer, more mellow and serene than the busyness of a candy shop.
The mood is soft and serene in the shop. There are huge round blocks of beautifully hued soaps hanging down along the windows, catching the sunlight and glowing.
Then there are slices of these soaps stacked up in walls
from the floor upwards.
Honey, amber, translucents, aquamarine mint soaps, butter colors, liquid wine red with swaths of purple, hardy moss and earth smelling soaps.
Then in the middle of the store there are tables full of baskets of bath bombs and butter bars in delectable smells and shapes.
I seem to get lost in this store each time I go.
Time slows and I feast my eyes and nose on each soap, picking them
up and feeling their marshmallowy textures.
I usually become glazed over in a stupor in this store.
The soaps look and sometimes smell like cupcakes or
marshmallow candy. But more buttery and sweeter.
I loose all track of time in this store, and usually, I need to be dragged out.
The last time I was there was four years ago in NYC. I’m going
to have to order online soon.
Next on the list of things to buy: a pair of jeans that fits. I haven’t gone out shopping for over four years, and my jean supply has dwindled down from maybe eight pairs of jeans to one pair. Most got holes in the knees or back pockets, or got paint on them, or got dirt stained by me sitting on the ground gardening in them. The jeans I have now are too loose, and are falling off my hips. Not nice. I wear bulky sweatshirts to keep me warm in the winter, so I look like a shapeless snowman. I am longing for a pair of tight jeans that I don’t have to hitch up every time I move. As much as I’m longing for summer so I can wear tank tops and move freely without the constriction of tons of layers of clothing. These jeans will be my motivation. I somehow became agoraphobic over the last year or so due to being afraid that a crash would hit me out of the blue while out in public. However, I really, really want new jeans. I can feel their tightness on my legs. I’ve been contemplating going out to get them for the last two months. I’m going to sit here and contemplate them a little more right now.