The months following my divorce led me to a new theme in my life, “Treat Yo’self”.
After years of putting the needs and wants of AJ ahead of my own needs and wants, I felt like it was time to pamper myself, eat all of the seafood, and do whatever else I wanted. Finally, I could spend some of my hard-earned money on me.
It’s not like in the six years I spent with AJ I never bought myself a new pair of shoes, or a new bag, because I certainly purchased new things during that time. However, most of the time, I’d opt for a less expensive version of whatever I wanted in an effort to afford whatever he wanted. On vacations, or even short road trips, he would ask for souvenirs and I’d opt out of something for myself. On date night, he’d get the steak and expensive drinks and I’d drink the cheapest drink and eat the cheapest food. I was treating myself, but only after AJ got what he wanted first.
After six years of being second (and years of being even lower on my husband’s list), I could finally put myself first.
As a newly single woman, I wanted to feel sexy, so I went to get extensions in an effort to grow out the pixie cut I had for a few months. Spending money on hair extensions would have never been something I would have considered when I was with AJ. That money could have been used for a rainy day fund, to prepare for unknown charges on the credit card statements, or treat AJ and I to several dates. But instead, I treated my(damn)self and invested a lot of money into my hair. Spending that much money on me felt so good.
After the extensions, I started getting regular facials and massages. Treating myself to a new lipstick (or seven). I was able to spend money on myself and not fear an unknown bill or surprise cash withdrawal, because I was the only one touching my money now – talk about a victory.
So I treated myself incredibly well and loved every second of it.
Clearly, due to bankruptcy and other factors, this level of treating myself isn’t necessarily sustainable at the level I was at, but it was so worth it at the time. I felt beautiful, special, and pampered, which are things I hadn’t truly felt in a few years.
Now, as I cool down on spending, and ramp back up my savings, I realize there is another level of “Treat Yo’self” that doesn’t cost a thing and feels even better.
Honor yourself (or yo’self, or thyself, if you’re feeling fancy).
The treats I had been giving myself over the last several months are all fairly temporary. My new shoes will get dirty or need heel replacement, my extensions have been removed, and my face could use another facial to keep up that youthful glow.
Honoring myself has a more permanent effect.
Rather than focusing on spending my money to treat myself well, I am now focusing on spending my time to treat myself well. Instead of massages all the time, I make myself tea, grab a heating pad and a book, and relax in my sun room with my pups. Instead of professional facials, I put on a mask with my friends and drink wine (counterproductive? maybe). I make sure I have me-time, and I make sure I have girl time, and I make sure that if I have time spent with a guy, it’s a guy that is worth the time.
Because honoring myself means that I recognize my worth and the value of my time.
The point being, you don’t need money to honor yourself and you don’t even need a reason. Honoring yourself is about loving yourself and spending your time accordingly. Do things you love with people who love you. When you need alone-time, take it. When you need girl time, make it happen.
Love yourself first and then everything falls into place.
There are still days that sadness grips me, but I genuinely love myself and I honor myself. The respect I have for myself has propelled my healing forward. I still have a journey ahead. I am still finding the “I” in divorce, but I am happy and I think that is a win.
How will you honor yo’self today?