Monday, September 10, 2012

Doing Right by Yourself

Have you ever seen the Albert Brooks movie Mother, also starring Debbie Reynolds as the mom? It’s a real favorite of mine. It explores the messed up relationship Brooks has with him mother and ends up revealing the family dynamics are a lot more dysfunctional than he had imaged.

One of the battles he has with his mother is over the “cheap” way she treats herself. For instance, she always buys the off-brand of everything and refuses to allow herself something she’d actually enjoy.  Brooks tells Reynolds that he hates the way she behaves towards herself.

He has a good point. It is a tendency of the Depression Era generation and even some their off-spring, mainly us Baby Boomers, to have to talk ourselves into things like pedicures, rock-climbing classes, art we love for our homes, etc.  If it isn't necessary but simply desired, there is a whole justification process most of us go through, often out-loud and to other people.

Here’s what it boils down to: we need to be responsible – within reason – but there’s no good reason to constantly deny ourselves. If it’s an extravagance that truly doesn’t fit into your monthly budget (as it currently exists) then save towards it. Or like my dad used to say, go mow someone’s lawn to earn the money for it. Not literally, of course but there are always ways to earn extra income so that you can live a little better.

Perhaps we can’t have everything we want, but we can always have SOMETHING we want. So, today, choose something that you’ve been denying yourself and grab it with gusto. Remember, it doesn’t have to cost money either. Sometimes, a whole day of doing nothing but reading a good book is what we really, really want.

Go forth and be good to yourself today.