This week I invested in myself…twice.
Before I tell you about it, help me remember to tell you about the exciting thing happening next week. I’ll loop back to that at the end. Don’t let me forget, okay? Alright, nevermind. I know I’ll forget so I’ll just tell you now. You’ll want to check back in here in about a week ’cause I submitted a scary, vulnerable something for a thing and now that thing is going to be available and I want so much for you all to see this because the thing this thing is in is SO COOL and I think people will really get into it and possibly discover a whole new resource for finding beauty in the mundane and other people who acknowledge the pain and rawness of life, so be sure to come back next week and I’ll have links to share and it will be great!
Okay, back to investing.
The first was that I took myself to an exercise class I know I enjoy. It’s snowing here in Minnesota, I overslept and there was an expoential degree of hurry-scurry as the kids and I tried to get out the door. It would have been really easy (REALLY) to drop them off and return home.
But I didn’t.
I put it in high gear, threw clean clothes and stuff for a shower into a bag (the world would thank me if they saw how sweaty I’d be if I didn’t shower after this class), got the kids where they needed to be, and arrived at my class (a Latin hip-hop-cardio-get-yer-groove-on-type of class, if you must know) just as they were starting. And even though it was inconvenient to prepare to get there and also be able to do the other things necessary to keep things running semi-smoothly at home, it was worth it.
I am worth it.
The other thing I did that was an investment in myself was to take a step of bravery and small financial investment.
My church is hosting an art festival and has invited people to submit their art work. This is the second year, and I didn’t make it to the first year to see what types of things are a part of this. I imagine my stuff will be very…grungy by comparison. Also there the factor that they’re saying if a piece is not three dimensional, it needs to be framed. Like in a frame. To hang on a wall. In public view.
This sounds like a stupid idea.
However stupid, once I heard about it, it was something I could not get out of my head, so I’ve been working on something for a few weeks now. The only thing that remained was to frame it and bring it to church.
Did y’all know that frames aren’t sized true? And that canvases can warp and only be somewhat true to the size they claim to be?
Yeah, me neither.
I wanted to do this on the cheap, and I discovered that I could find my own frame and then have a store prepare my canvas in said frame and make sure it’s all ready to go. Easy, right?
The only problem was that my version of cheap meant trying to find a frame at a thrift store, and with thrift stores you never know what you’re going to find and in my case, it was NOT finding a frame the correct size.
Okay, plan B. I’d have the store frame it. after all, I have a coupon for like 60% off, so how bad could it be?
When your budget was a frame from Salvation Army, it turns out that it could be pretty bad.
The frames were gorgeous, of course, but the price was not.
No problem, Let’s go to Plan C…or D…or whatever we’re on by this point. After making multiple phone calls, and visiting two different stores — one of which had my co-workers wishing me travelling mercies and asking me to send postcards — I got the open frame I needed but the shop I got it from couldn’t do the finishing in time for me to get it turned in on time.
I was feeling really stymied. It seemed like maybe I was pushing against forces that were aligned against me, as if I was being held from going any further with this action. There have been times in the past when this has happened and it ended up being a protection of sorts. It’s sometimes hard to tell if you’re just in a busy and having a hard time getting everything done or if you’re being redirected by some force greater than yourself.
As I realized what was going on, and became aware of how frenzied it was making me feel, I felt something shift inside my heart, and I knew I could let it go.
I didn’t have to participate in the art festival in order for my canvases to be a worthwhile endeavor.
No one else had to see them at all, or affirm them or me.
They were worth my time and energy, if only for my own enrichment and process. Painting and art journaling are worth my time and energy because they have been good for me, so good.
When I talked to my husband about it, about trying to save this money by using a thrift store frame and squeezing the canvas in it even though it didn’t really fit, he stopped me. He told me I should just buy the frames new. He told me I should have the store finish them for me. He supported this attempt to put something out into the world (he didn’t say that part in as many words) because he knew it was important to me.
I was worth it.
I was able to get it to the shop where they’d prepare it. That part did end up being economical. The investment of time, gas for my almost-on-empty tank, and energy was…let’s just say it was less than economical. But it didn’t matter if I was saving time or money any more. Because the expense was going towards a worthwhile cause — me.
What about you, friend? How are you allowing yourself to invest in yourself in this new year? What ways can you mindfully allow yourself the freedom to do what replenishes your soul?
Don’t forget to stop by the Facebook page next week, or check in here, to find out about the fun news I’ll have. There are links up on the right that should zip you over there, or you can subscribe and have posts delivered to your inbox — so efficient!