I giggled chatting with Laurence in her beautiful glass art gallery in Occidental as she gift-wrapped my purchase. Out on my fave convertible, weekend drive thru Sebastopol, Freestone, Bodega, Occidental, and Guerneville, I found my one perfect treat: a necklace and earrings designed by Barbara Harris. I acknowledged this was a gift, to me, from me, with love and affection!
Knowingly, she smiled and shared her own story. As a young girl, she had saved up precious change for a treat of her own. When she was finally able to buy the object of her desire, the store proprietor asked her if it was a gift. No, she muttered somewhat embarrassed, it is just for me. Ah, the proprietor replied as she wrapped Laurence's little gift, it is a gift for a special girl, indeed. Laurence always wraps her customer's purchases. She knows each one is a gift.
Give yourself a gift. NOT a rationalized one, buy a cherished one. Like my friend Jason suggests, for example, avoid the money-sucking tractor beam at Kohl's, where stuff is 40% off but you don't need it. Don't add $20 more to your Amazon shopping cart just because you'll get $4.95 waived in free shipping.
DO give yourself a smile. It's a guilty pleasure without the guilt. When I order my fave Mahogany coffee beans online, I always fill in that little box where it asks if you want to send a "message" with the shipment. I write something quirky or funny that will make me laugh when I receive it. Sometimes I just write in "to me, from me, with love and affection."
DO give yourself a treat. In my home office, I make a Judycinno of espresso, steamed milk, flavored syrup, a dash of cinnamon and a chocolate drizzle. Every morning, that aroma, that foam bouncing off the top of my lip and the warmth are a treat. Even alone, I eat on pretty plates, wear earrings or perfume. When we value and treat ourselves with love and respect, we affirm our worth, improve our self-esteem. We give the gift of life joyfully to ourselves. No waiting in line.
Jason is right. It's more the experiences we have, not the stuff we buy, that enhance our happiness. But they are beautifully connected. Every time I play my iPod, I remember I won it in a Kim & Jason contest. Every time I slip on my new jewelry enjoying Barbara's imaginative textures and colors, I'll giggle, think about Laurence, her charm and wit, and wonder what little gem she is wrapping for another happy customer today.
What gift will you treat yourself with today?