Thanks to my friend – Emma’s blog post this week I want to reiterate that it is ok to spoil yourself and self indulge in any activity that inspires or entices you to live instead of merely existing.
One of my mother’s favourite phrases when I was growing up was “I’m vegetating”. Being young at the time, I could never work out what that meant. Oh sure, I got bored from time to time and would whinge and whine “I have nothing to do”
Now, I would yell at my younger self and say “go outside and connect with nature” or “go for a fr….ing walk, why don’t you!”
I love to walk. Always did, always will do. Although I do it so seldom these days one may wonder what I have feet/legs for. Be indulgent and get up from the couch, or chair and put one foot in front of the other. March in this way until you get to the door – open it and exit the building. Keep walking down the garden path, onto the footpath and keep walking. Feel the sun shine on your face, feel it warm you, feel it embrace you, feel it become a part of you. After half an hour, you can then come home, make that cup of hot chocolate and sit outside in the sunshine to enjoy. (too bad it is raining today, otherwise that’s what I’d be doing instead of sitting on this couch and writing to you all…)
What does it mean to be self indulgent, I wonder?
Well, it can mean different things to different folks. Seven years ago I had breast cancer. One way of indulging was to find a day in the middle of my chemo-cycle that I could hold a meal down, go to our favourite restaurant and order a top-notch lunch. I did this four times. Once each chemo-cycle. It was most enjoyable, memorable and fulfilling. It also marked the one-down-three-more-to-go milestone. This last reason was the best of all. Except that it stopped after my last celebratory milestone and I had no more top-notch lunches to look forward to. I had to find another way and reason to self indulge.
Then I was given a portable spa mat that I could put into the bath-tub. It was great. I filled the bath to just a few inches below the top and sprinkled liberal drops of my favourite smelly bubble bath and oil on top of the water. Sinking into the warmer than needed soft silky water was pure luxury and I would soak there until my skin resembled a prune. But the feeling I had for the rest of the day was of having been well and truly pampered.
I am not one for getting my nails or my hair done, though I did indulge in the hair thing more so once my hair began growing back. Before it did though, my indulgence was to wrap my bare head in the brightest, most colourful head scarf I could find. Swap my usual sleeper earrings for bright dangly types, put on my chunkiest (though not without class) necklace and just enjoy life. I was alive. I was given the all clear after my chemo and was happy once more.
Then there are the days that I indulged myself in the back yard with my then
pooch, Heidi, my border collie. We had a beautiful Jacaranda tree with an equally beautiful Wisteria vine growing up this gorgeous tree. When it snowed here, it was with purple flowers. The ground cover was pure flower. It was a haven for all the bees in the neighbourhood. A playground for all the fairies, elves and elfin at the bottom of the garden. Except our bottom of the garden was around the Jacaranda tree.
Sitting here, in front of the warm, luxurious and cosy gas heater, having my two mutts sitting on the sofa along side of me with the radio in the distance and home made soup being prepared for me a few rooms away is making me wonder again…what does it mean to be self indulgent?