I’ve just finished reading a wonderful book called ‘The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to be Calm in a Busy World’ by Haemin Sunim – a monk and Buddhist teacher. It’s a beautiful book made up of anecdotes, pretty illustrations & practical tips to help you slow down in life and overall, become a more balanced and compassionate person. I’ll write more about this soon but for now, I want to talk about one of the tips that really stayed with me after reading.
How often do you use the phrase ‘oh go on, treat yourself’ or more emphatically, ‘fuck it, you only live once!!!’ to justify doing something a little naughty or perhaps out of the norm of your routine. I use it A LOT. And I tell people it a lot too. I’m the first person to convince you to get that pizza you’re craving or to buy that bag on sale. It’s not a bad attitude to have whatsoever – spontaneity and doing what feels good is GOOD. However, my usual ‘treat yourself’ inner conversation surrounds having a glass of wine (or 3) and getting a takeaway. Sometimes it’s going on a night out or getting a hungover Maccy Ds when I’m meant to be saving money – you get the jist.
“We don’t think twice about spending nine or ten dollars on a glass of wine. And yet we hesitate when it comes to buying a book, which is the price of one or two glasses of wine.”Haenim Sunim
Reading the above, a penny dropped for me. *sings* This is me!!! In fact, buying myself this book was a rare ‘treat yourself’ moment because I never let myself buy books these days. I have so many already that I can’t justify £6-8 on a book when I have unread books sitting at home. It took me a few weeks of mental back-and-forth before pressing ‘buy’ on Amazon…but I wouldn’t even bat an eyelid at spending this on a sushi box or 2 doubles at our local!
How painfully sad to think that my mind is so easily swayed when it comes to paying for an overpriced glass of wine in London, yet I find it hard to invest in something that will not only better my knowledge but positively affect my mind and outlook on the world? The same goes for buying plants. And warm gloves. And medicine. I completely resent buying nasal spray for example, when I have a cold. Ugggh, this £3-5 could be spent elsewhere. I will pore over the shelves of Boots trying to find a cheaper alternative, checking ingredients of Cold and Flu tablets and making sure I’m getting my £3.50’s worth.
And there are countless other things that I battle with myself over buying that would actually benefit my wellbeing. Art classes. Dance classes. I would ADORE to learn Spanish or do a pottery/ceramics course. Okay, the things I’ve just mentioned are pretty pricey so it’s understandable that I don’t ‘treat myself’ to these – but it’s small things too. I loooove to swim but paying to go swimming is a luxury ‘I can’t really afford’. And I’m desperate for a subscription to ‘Positive News’ which would be a FABULOUS investment for only £30 a year. I wouldn’t hesitate to spend £30 on a takeaway or night out but I’ve been putting off buying a subscription to this for about 3 years now…
Don’t get it twisted, I adore an evening in a cosy bar getting fuzzy with a nice, fruity white – but the idea of ‘treat yourself’ has a completely new meaning for me now. I vow to invest more in my wellbeing, my state of mind and my growth! I’m going to make a real effort to channel my ‘treats’ in to more beneficial, creative outlets.
Of course, get the takeaway – but don’t do it if it means missing out on the yoga class you want to do that’s going to warm your soul and introduce you to like-minded people. If you’d happily spend £10 on a round at the pub, don’t hesitate to do an art class for the same price. Aim for more balance and REALLY treat you.
Love Siân x
Ps. When I get paid I’m buying that subscription to ‘Positive News’. What about you? Is there something that would benefit you that you haven’t wanted to spend the money on?