#Tryharder to give myself a break and stop storing up on undeserved guilt and needless anxiety. I need to accept that I am deserving of an occasional splurge and to let go of the self-created pressure that comes with doing certain things for myself. I have to think that it causes the people in my li
Every year, for my birthday, my father in law sends me cash in a card. This is what grandparents do for grandkids and this is what my father in law does for me. I guess I prefer he send me money opposed to some odd gift or cologne that I would never wear. He usually waits till Christmas to send those things.
This year, he sent me $100. Where $20 would have been fine and often my gift in the past, he stepped up this year and gifted large! Such a generous gift from the grandfather of my children and a man that I have grown to love and become good friends with over the 18 years we have been in each other's lives. He may be odd, crazy, hard of hearing and often times a "damned fool", but I do love the man for how he loves my kids as well as having a hand in creating the mother of my children and the chick I share a bed with.
What to do with $100?
He sent it early in the month as to ensure that it arrived in plenty of time for me to spend on myself for my birthday. I pulled it out of the card and tried to give it to my wife to just throw in the bank. She pressed me to just put it in my wallet and pushed that this was a gift and it's not to be used on bills. So there it sat, in my wallet, making me feel guilty every time I looked at it.
I am, without a doubt, terrible about spending money on myself. Every piece of clothing I own was purchased by my wife and most of the time I was not there to tell her "no" when she bought it. I don't go a lot of places alone because those things take away from my wife and kid time and they usually cost money. The bottles of liquor that sit in the cabinet are bottles that were gifted to me over the years or things my wife had won playing Bunco or something. My 65 Chevy truck was purchased with money that my wife saved from extreme coupon collecting because she knew that I would never take our own money to make such a luxury purchase. I don't do “me” time and I am terrible at spending money on myself.
I don't really know what this stems from. I am not writing this chapter to sell myself as some kind of Saint or martyr and I don't think it's some sort of insecurity, although there is probably some head-shrink term for it. My mom is very much the same way, so perhaps it is based on the product of my upbringing. My dad would occasionally splurge on something and he would then force my mother to get something for herself-much like the way my wife does to me.
I am a man that wants many things in life, but needs very little. The things that I believe I need are things that often cannot be bought and have no real monitory value. My happiness and security is not based on items purchased, but rather the pulse of the feelings of the important people in my life. If my flock is happy-I am happy.
Trust this-if I win the lottery tomorrow I will be writing my next chapter about all the dumb stuff I bought for myself. I am only human and that is to be expected.
So for two weeks that picture of Ben Franklin stared at me. For two weeks the weight of an impending purchase kept pushing on my shoulders. For two weeks that $100 reminded me that eventually I was going to have to spend it on something for me and it made me feel more guilt than you could ever imagine. If I had just made my wife take it, I could have just washed my hands of it and kissed it goodbye. There it sat, burning a hole of guilt and anxiety, in my pocket. (You're reading this going "dude, just send it to me! I'll find a use for it".).
After two weeks it came to me what I needed to do. The only way it would bring me any sort of joy or closure was that it needed to be spent on the people that I love. My flock. My family. There were two items my kids kept asking about and they totaled almost exactly $100 in price. So, I went shopping.
My kids are my everything and they are the only people in this world that I never feel guilty doing anything for. If this money was not allowed to be put in the bank, then the kids were going to be the recipients of gifts because I just didn't feel comfortable spending it on myself, knowing that my children had a list of wants. Watching them enjoy these gifts gives me more satisfaction than anything I could have ever bought for myself and the best part, these gifts created activities we could do as a family.
The money and guilt lasted two weeks and I have no regrets on the purchases I made. If I would have bought something for me, I would have certainly experienced remorse and further guilt. I don't know why I feel this way, but I assure you it is not based on a lack of confidence or belief in myself. Maybe Catholic guilt?
Those two weeks taught me that I need to become more comfortable with doing things for me. I need to #Tryharder to give myself a break and stop storing up on undeserved guilt and needless anxiety. I need to accept that I am deserving of an occasional splurge and to let go of the self-created pressure that comes with doing certain things for myself. I have to think that it causes the people in my life, especially my wife, guilt from pampering themselves knowing that I would never do the same and that is not fair. If you are like me, then you too should #Tryharder to give yourself an occasional break.
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