Putting Ourselves First

Rainier CherriesDay 299

During the last few years my children were in high school, I was a single parent. Everything was about them. I was fortunate to have a good job and making sure they had all the things they needed was the most important thing.

I remember so many times I took them shopping for their school supplies, clothes or shoes. I would see things I liked and would often put them in the shopping cart. As we shopped and picked up the things they needed, I would think more and more about the things I had picked up and placed in the cart. By the time we were ready to check out, I had taken the items I had put in the shopping cart and put them back on the shelf.

This process was one I would repeat many times. It became known in our family as mom taking things for a ride and it upset my children. Now that they have children of their own, I am sure they better understand my motives than they could have at the time.

I was no martyr. I had the things I needed — clothes for work, plenty to eat, the ability to pay the rent, etc. I just put aside the extra non-necessities.

It’s funny how we get into a habit because of certain circumstances and those habits become hard to break. I still have a hard time buying things for myself, but it has gotten easier through the years. It’s not because I think I do not deserve those things, it’s just that I have learned what was and is important.

Yesterday, I broke down and splurged on some pricey cleansers and moisturizers for my face for the first time in my life. I really needed to do something and in just 24 hours I can really tell the difference. I really felt amazing making that purchase for myself. It was the type of thing I would not normally ever do.

I guess I’m just a simple pleasures kind of gal. For example, yesterday I splurged and bought a bag of Rainier cherries. Hubby won’t eat them, so they will all be for me. They remind me of my sisters — we always took them when we went on our annual trek to the mountains of Georgia for our sister retreat. And of course, they are delicious!

I do not have a fancy wardrobe, because, well…I’m just not fancy. I wear mostly jeans and t-shirts. I do buy warm clothes in the winter, though. Last year I fell in love with turtle-neck sweaters again, so I bought myself several — and I put them on my Christmas wish-list to boot!

Yesterday I realized I have a $200 gift card my son gave me two years ago that I still have not spent. Today I sat down and figured out what I wanted to buy for myself. I am excited.

I much prefer spending money on experiences. Trips, classes, going to the theatre and traveling to the mountain-tops enrich my life much more than things do. But those facial products are heavenly and will be well-enjoyed!

It is important to take care of ourselves and to give to ourselves as well as others. It’s okay to say no, but it is equally okay to say yes if that is where our heart leads us. I am so fortunate to be able to splurge a little when the spirit moves me. I am thankful for that. But let me tell you, old habits die hard.

Hubby bought himself a truck. He’s so happy! It’s the first new vehicle he has bought for himself since we were married. He did what I did — always put someone else first. It makes me happy just watching him in his excitement. I decided to wait on buying a car for myself. The truck is automatic, so I will be able to drive it if need be. I do love my old Volvo and I may just keep it until it just won’t go anymore. For now, I am quite content with my decision.

I hope you do something nice for yourself today. It feels good to treat yourself once in a while.

Now I am off to do a facial and have some cherries!


16 thoughts on “Putting Ourselves First”

  1. Love this post, Maggie. We’re similar, in that we’ve always been savers, living within our means, yada, yada. But it’s also time to spend a bit on ourselves, too. That can be a good thing!

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  2. Oh I think that so far, you, Maggie and Lisa, are all sisters of the spirit so to speak. I always put myself last when it comes to family and really, the truth is that like Maggie, little adventures, classes, things to read from the library and just the clothes I really need, which don’t tend to be too many, are plenty for me. However, there is something I like like you do and that is special vegetable fruits and vegetables I love and can get cheap. My significant other, Richard is a meat and potatoes, rice, pasta guy, so it really truly is not only a healthy treat, but one that makes me feel happy. And there are few vegetables I don’t like. I don’t regret giving to my family as I have. I grew up with not a lot. Mom bought day old bread for us and we did our shopping for our groceries in those days in places where we could buy it really cheap. And we wore thrift store clothes, but it never bothered me. I liked the fact that when I made a choice, it was not something I would necessarily find somewhere else. Thank you so much.

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    1. Anne, we did grow up in a generation where it was important to save. I am glad, though, that my children never had to experience some of the things we did. I never regretted putting my wants aside. We found joy in the little things.

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    1. Oh, Nancy, it is nothing special. Probably something many women do without a second thought. I will send you a message.


  3. I think we all get to a time in our lives, or a certain age, when we think “Why not?”
    You should have cherries, Maggie, and the best facial products, and your husband deserves to enjoy his new truck.
    I rarely buy anything for myself, and I have no children. But when I do spend on myself, I make sure it is either a quality product, or something that feels like a treat I don’t really need. That’s probably why I have so many cameras! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pete. I think we are similar in many ways. There is a lot of junk out there, so looking for quality is important for any purchase we would make.

      We, too, have quite a few cameras. Yashika, Canon, Nikon and even two Hassleblads. But we rarely shoot film any more.

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  4. I think it is mom-nature to take care of others first. It’s a good thing, but everyone deserves a splurge now and then. I’m glad you hubs bought a truck. I did not, so I will live a little vicariously through him – i.e. you will need to post a few pics and an adventure or two.

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  5. When I was much younger, my younger brother came home from Vietnam with a TBI, a spinal injury, and permanent PTSD from having to shoot and kill babies and toddlers wired with bombs. It is hard to understand by my own standards how any parent could ever do such a thing, so I can understand his PTSD. I have my own too from being assaulted and majorly bullied late in my life, not by wars, but by seniors in my own mobile home park who were getting their Norco from the drug dealers in a supposedly nice park.

    I will say that when I saw my brother and heard all he went through, it gave me a heart to always work with physically, developmentally, and emotionally challenged children and adults, and I have been glad to do this all of my own life. It helped me to somewhat heal my own pain and suffering. When I give to others, in a manner of speaking, I am giving to my own self a way to heal and I also write to my brother as much as I can and encourage him too, something I could not do if I had not experienced these things first hand. And it has not been all just about healing of self either. I have loved working with the children and the adults – teaching them ways of self worth and also being able to cope with what and who they are in positive ways. I tutor also, and I love every minute of it. So this is how I came to be where I am now with things. I am so glad I can serve others in this lifetime, and I don’t resent others having the good things in life. For me, these are my good things. I thank you all for your beautiful writing and especially Maggie who posts for us all.

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    1. Anne, that is horrible suffering you and your brother had to endure. I am so glad you found a way to turn it around for your own health and the benefit of others.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Your kind words mean a great deal.

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  6. I tried buying some more stylish clothes, but discovered I prize comfort over all. It’s nice to be old enough to know what we like. Hooray to your husband for getting a truck. My husband finally bought all the tools he has always wanted.


  7. I remember one fall when my kids were 1, 2, 9 & 11, I went to Penney’s and bought myself clothes and socks and a new pair of loafers. I hadn’t bought any new clothes new since I was pregnant three years before. It felt good. Fresh. And odd. #momlife
    I would say I do okay, for a mom. I’ve come a long way, cause therapy and increasing independence of children 🙂
    Cherries are mmm mmm mmm!

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