In the past two months or so, I have spent close to $400 on products or services that have one purpose: To make me look better. Wait...that isn't quite accurate. To make me look YOUNGER.
There was the facial I had on my recent cruise, ending with the $200 + products the young British woman sold me before I walked out. Maybe it was her fancy English accent that rendered me temporarily mute, unable to even choke out the word "NO." Or it might have been that I didn't have to reach into my purse and pull out that much money. I signed on the dotted line, added my cabin number, and I was good to go. At least she put it in a pretty bag.
My Avon lady advertises via the Internet. And that's dangerous for the health of my checking account. It is so easy, isn't it, to tap in numbers and buy stuff? You can't even feel the money leaking from your wallet....it's just suddenly gone. But the creamy tints for my disappearing lips and the wrinkle cream that is GUARANTEED TO WORK will be delivered next week. At least Avon is inexpensive, in the scheme of all my cosmetic spending. $20.
Earlier this week I visited a friend who moved a few hours away. We meandered down an avenue of boutiques, holiday music effortlessly pushing us into festive businesses decorated with boughs of holly and silver tinsel. My friend bought silly costumes for her dog and I bought beautifully scented cream GUARANTEED to erase the brown spots that freckle my hands. $119.00. (Stop laughing.....)
But here is the inconsistency. The one that makes me chuckle at myself and shake my head in disbelief.
I am experiencing, right along with this silliness with my appearance, a period of intellectual growth unlike any I can remember in my life. I am embracing the fact that my life is now more about finding meaning than climbing that career ladder I put in the closet a few years ago. The inner work that is organically occuring is huge, right along side all of this work on the outer shell that is truly meaningless.
Currently I am reading The Worldly Philosophers: An Economic History; a philosophy textbook I found at a garage sale; Coming to Our Senses; Romancing the Ordinary; and Life 101. Every morning I sip my coffee and read from these works for about 30 minutes. I am learning the beauty of contemplation of just about everything, as well as clearing my mind and making room for me.
And then I retreat to my room and slather cream all over my face and hands.
You gotta laugh.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Victor Frankl