The art and heart of self denial. Usually when we reach A Certain Age, we are able to indulge in a few of the material niceties of life. While far from wealthy, most of us no longer have to “sweat the rent”, pitch in with our girlfriends to get gas for the weekend, or wait for Quarter Beer Night to go out for a beverage. (Ack! Did I used to do that?? Yes.)
I am writing in generalities, of course, and I recognize that my readers span a wide breadth of economic means. For the purpose of this ramble however, I am thinking about those of us who have probably been working for several decades, have a decent abode and a vehicle in the carport. These are some of the trade-offs for youth that I have written about and that Kathy Bates so memorably declared to the young women in “Fried Green Tomatoes.” (“I’m older and I have more insurance.”).
So for those of us who have the basics covered: what do we deny ourselves, in the realm of style and fashion, that we could afford? And is this wisdom or excessive guilt? If given a chance to “splurge”, might you choose some updated shrubberies, new tires, or dorm-room decor for the kids? Or a wonderful-but-pricey suit/purse/pair of boots you have had your eyes on for months?
I can only truly answer for myself, of course, and hope for your answers in the Comments below. I was raised in a rather restrictive environment, with a lot more “no” than “yes”. One of the worst things a person could be was “selfish”. If therapy school taught me anything (it did!), it’s that early lessons are deeply planted and modified with only the greatest effort.
So in my 60’s, I still struggle with “deserving” and splurging, and allowing myself to spend on myself, commensurate with my income/assets. After all, self-denial is a virtue, isn’t it? Look around: self-indulgence is a fairly ubiquitous pastime, and the world doesn’t need a whole lot more Kardashians. But I am thinking about balance, a little bit of self-indulgence laced with some hard work, building, sharing, and sacrifice.
Yes, I can always find “similar” for less. But is it okay to skip the comparison-shopping every rare once in a while? To just choose something because it is lovely, and it feels good? I’m still learning the answers, never too late for that.
“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.”-Bette Davis
What are your thoughts about self-restraint and self-indulgence? What are you denying yourself, if anything, because you’re not sure you “should”? Or are you looking at this issue from the other side, trying to curb your spending on style?
Stay safe, wash and wash and wash (your hands), xo
Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse: