Self-care and Other-care

Yesterday the family (yes, all 3 of us! Yay!) went to an artsy crafty festival in a beautiful new building (is it an art studio? a mansion? a coffee shop? All of the above) in a lovely ruralish part of town. A friend was selling her work there which is how I ended up going, and I generally enjoy that type of event and browsing various hand-made goods.
I was looking at a pair of fingerless gloves – not really thinking about buying them, just noting their details – when my friend commented that they would look good with the colours I was wearing. I heard her, but the thought of buying something as frivolous as a pair of fingerless gloves never even entered my head. I don’t DO things like that! I buy second hand clothing, just what I need, nothing more and nothing new. And besides, I’m a busy mom and don’t have time to dress up, wear jewelry, put on make-up or spend any time bothering about my appearance. Fingerless gloves, besides, are cool and funky, and since I’m not, why would I buy these? Plus, we’re saving money so no, I won’t buy a fun cool crafty item because I don’t need it.

So I put them down, wandered on, and in the end just bought a felt globe ornament – partly for myself, but partly for baby who’s been going crazy about all the hanging sparkly globes up in stores now.

And after the fact, after we got home and I had time to think about what I spent money on, I really had to wonder at my lack of ability to buy something beautiful and fun for myself and to believe that I deserved it and could actually use it. I’ve been blabbing on about how I don’t like my clothes and I want a beautiful wardrobe, but I don’t seem to have a real sense of what that means: what actual items of clothing will help me create this wardrobe? And then, practically, if I do value looking good and wearing nice things, I need to spend money on items that will make up my wardrobe. And also practically, a pair of funky gloves can transform an outfit: instant cool! Plus, since I’m often cold and only have my other bulky gloves (which are NOT cool – grey, snowflakey, etc.), these in fact could be extremely practical for me.

I do care for my daughter. I’m glad I bought something she loved (though I’ve now taken it away and hung it because otherwise it would be destroyed). I just want to also do the same for myself.

And in a way I have: after planning a similar display for years, I finally hung a piece of driftwood today with 3 ornaments: the red felt globe; a beautiful snowflake from husband’s sister for our wedding (I can’t remember the name of the type of paper art it is – the paper is thin curled strips); and a small red-and-fur doll from Russia, completely adorable. I love love LOVE this hanging bit of beauty, the seasonal decorations, the personal touch it brings to the home. At last, after dreaming up the idea when I was in Mississippi – then I imagined a curving branching metal chandelier-like piece for hanging ornaments, an alternative to the Christmas tree I don’t have in our home. Not Christmas, but seasonal snowy solsticey natural beauty.

So now I’m hyped on self-care. I want those gloves! I’m excited to decorate our home more. I’d like to learn how to felt and make many more felt balls (I adore felt AND anything circular or spherical). And I’m going to a drumming group on Wed. night – first time back drumming in maybe 2 years?? Oh, and I’m going to take another serious look at my wardrobe. If I want to look good, I think I need to just do it.

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