Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday: Treats Not Tricks

Tonight I thought I'd write a bit about some treats I decided to give myself in the last few weeks. Each one is meaningful in its own way and has made a difference in my life.

The first treat I gave myself was a special pen nib. I enjoy writing with fountain pens (I also collect them) but have never bought a special nib, one that I custom-picked and detailed every aspect that I wanted it to have. I've kept journals for years and enjoy handwriting as an art--not calligraphy, exactly---but drawing my words in an intentional way. So this month I got one from a pen specialist and I have enjoyed writing so much more. As part of The Joy Diet by Martha Beck (Next Chapter Book Group) we are encouraged to give ourselves three treats each day, and one of mine every day is sitting and writing in my journal, drawing my letters and enjoying it so much!

The second treat I gave myself was bigger. LoveHubbie and I have been married for almost ten years and as you know we take big vacations to Hawaii on a regular basis. However, we don't do a whole lot else for fun as he especially is a workaholic. The vacations to Hawaii are what we use to recover after five months of his working very intensely at a very demanding job every single day in between. I don't work with him anymore but am still involved in his career, and his pace does affect me. We have never gone away for a romantic weekend even once during this whole ten years, but this year we booked a trip to Leavenworth, WA and it was his idea.

This means so much to me as this getaway will be over Christmas when the holidays are especially hard for us. LoveHubbie is usually depressed and not wanting to celebrate because he misses his children so much--it's more like a mourning time. For those of you who do not know, I have three step-children, but the circumstances of LoveHubbie's divorce were very adversarial and he has had limited success in being able to reestablish relationships with his children, including visits. They are now adults, but the difficulties continue. Lots of drama and it is always sad for him. I don't mind too much, as holidays have never been important at all to me; however, I do feel bad for him, as I know how much he loves his children, and I hate that he grieves while so many other people find Christmas a happy time. "Oh, no, Christmas is coming!" is my normal anticipation for the holiday.

So this year we'll be bound for Leavenworth, which is as close as you can get to Germany in this country. LoveHubbie and I spent time in Germany 34 years ago, and it has a special significance for us. This will be really romantic! I love this treat!

And the biggest treat is something that you might find silly or frivolous. For the Leavenworth trip, I bought myself special blue jeans--premium blue jeans--designer blue jeans. I have never owned a pair of expensive blue jeans. Mostly due to my frugality, but in middle age, mostly because I am a woman of size. I always seem to be wanting to lose weight, so it just doesn't make sense to "invest" in a pair of blue jeans that I will hope to discard as soon as possible with my anticipated plummeting weight loss. It almost says to me that I'm planning to stay big, which would seem like a big defeat.

Well, so then I saw that Oprah show about the Cookie Johnson Jeans. Oprah raved about how they felt like pajamas and how comfortable they were for women with big butts, and how she wore them for a five hour plane ride and I thought---"At last!"---but they only make them up to size 18. Not 18W, but plain old 18. I am not an 18-anything, but bigger. I'm not sure how much bigger as I mostly wear men's pajama pants and XXL stretch pants and don't weigh myself intentionally. And I have size 18 jeans that I don't fit into, not even close. And they cost so much money. So...I bought the Cookie Johnson jeans as an expression of belief in myself that I could fit into them, but even more, that as a woman of size, I deserve to look beautiful. Oooooh, that was hard even to write, but it is a truth that I am learning to embrace.

I know that this might sound like another foolish woman buying clothes too small for her, but it's really not. I already love these jeans--well, not the jeans exactly, but rather, what I had to teach myself in order to buy them.  I am absolutely going to fit into them, and I hope by Christmas, but if not, as soon as my body allows me to. And no matter what, I am enjoying appreciating my larger body as something of beauty instead of what our culture teaches us.

I think that a sacred life involves giving ourselves pleasure and treating ourselves at times. I am just really only now in my fifties learning how to do this. I am learning to be kind and appreciative to myself. I often fall back into judging myself as being self-indulgent, frivolous, selfish, and superficial in that my treats all involve material things in some way, but I'm living with this discomfort in order to try to move beyond it. I'm learning to do new things and to create new patterns, and this can naturally involve discomfort and judgements, so I'm just letting them be. And being grateful for the lessons in my sacred life.


groovysabrina said...

hi Olivia! Congrats on your new jeans, it will be great fun to wear them! You're right, it is important to feel beautiful, something that I have observed more here in Brazil than in the US. Women here spend a lot of time on their beauty, and it pays off, hehe. If you walk ten steps with your eyes closed, you will probably end up in a salon.

Enjoy your getaway weekend, it will most well-deserved for both you .

Ginny said...

I enjoyed reading your post very much. I think it is wonderful that you bought the jeans. It is so important that we believe in ourselves and our goals. Your Christmas trip sounds wonderful. Enjoy every minute!

Ellecubed said...

I love how you have interwoven treats in to your life. Thank you so much for sharing your week with treats.

Lisa said...

Good for you for honoring your body so elegantly! Woohoo!!!!

Heather Plett said...

Hmmmm... I may have to consider a pair of those jeans. I was just thinking this weekend how uncomfortable my jeans are and how I'd like to have a decent pair.

becky n said...

Hi Olivia,

How wonderful that your husband suggested the romantic getaway - it sounds like a great thing to do -and maybe will start a new tradition for you at Christmas that you can both look forward to.

Have fun with the jeans - there are so many more options for women these days; no reason why anyone should feel frumpy if they don't want to.

I saw someone's post where they referred to Gok on youtube. Have you seen any of his videos? I got such a kick out them. I am inclined to think that we could all use someone like him around - to help pick out clothes and make us feel good about ourselves.

Nicci said...

Good for you. I love it. Way to go!

Melita said...

there is nothing better than treats. it has been a treat getting to know you. :) hugs!!

Kate said...

I love that you bought those jeans and I know you will be wearing them. Great to hear about your getaway too1
Treats are a good thing.


laundrygirl said...

I really savored this post. I love hearing all of the ways you are taking care of yourself and the lessons that have been learned in the process. You are inspiring and such a wonder!

Angela said...

What a wonderful post, Olivia, and all your treats are absolutely fabulous. Bet you'll be in those hot,sexy jeans by Christmas. Just bet you will.

Much love as always.

kikipotamus said...

Good for you, Olivia! That is especially exciting that LoveHubbie suggested the getaway for the two of you at Christmas. Keep up the treats! I want to hear more.

Seeking Simplicity said...

Olivia... I need to send you a copy of my Dad's calligraphy book he wrote several years ago. It's a great practice book.

And this Christmas holiday season is going to be fantastic. You are starting a new tradition, something your Hubby initiated... and the holidays will be magical and so filled with love. You're a very lucky lady.

Still home recovering from those nasty blood clots. But I'm starting to come back around... and this is giving me a great opportunity to read some good books.

Take care....!

Kim Mailhot said...

Sweet Treats !You go girl ! Here's to self-love in whatever form that makes your heart sing !
Rock on, Brave One !

Dia said...

I loved your post, Olivia!!

I began calligraphy just as you described - 'drawing' my letters (I had a little calligraphy booklet, & I'd copy the letters with a regular pen, & fill them in!) My mom had a fountain pen she often wrote with - maybe it was one of her 'self-treats!'

Congrads on your holiday vacation w/hubby - that's so neat.
I thought of feng-shui for helping harmonize the relationship with his kids - my friend Gwynn has a great website - 10,000 blessings Feng Shui - you might find something there, or e-mail her for some suggestions! (I want her to come do a Feng Shui class for some of my friends & me!)

& yea on getting those jeans - what a lovely affirmation!

A couple of years ago I went to a 'naked lady' party with a gal friend in Eugene, a clothing exchange!
There were 'safe' areas for the clothes (undies. shoes & purse!) we came with, & to put things we chose.
We brought bags of previously loved & clean clothes, & there were racks & piles, & more than 20 ladies of various sizes (inc. a few kids)
& some GREAT clothes, shoes, belts, purses, 'jewels,' . . .

One gal mentioned that it was a great way for gals in 'in-between' sizes (losing weight, but not 'there' yet) to pick up NICE things they could enjoy wearing for a few months, & pass on things that no longer fit!! They have exchanges at least 2x a year, & I found some fun things - all 'free.'

The last 'rule' is: everyone helps clean up, & takes a bag or two of the 'left overs' to their favorite charity shop - so the hostess isn't left with a pile of stuff to distribute.

Tumblemoose said...

Hi Olivia,

I say good for you for indulging in a few treats for yourself. It is so important that we do things for ourselves now and then. Helps make the world go 'round, it does.

And good on you for being so up front and putting your heart right out there. Very refreshing.



Suzie Ridler said...

You are doing a fantastic job taking care of yourself! I envy you going on those vacations, stunning. So totally worth it. I don't know if you're OK with Splenda but you can use it very successfully in cheesecake, I have done it before. There is only 3/4 cup in the whole cake, it's mostly protein and fat, LOL. Probably not good for losing weight but I did want to mention it!

We all deserve to feel beautiful exactly as we are. I'm working on that one too.