Saturday, August 8, 2009


Thank you guys so much for all the shiny cheerful feedback. What awesome responses. They made me want to reach for a sno cone and family and babies and you guys and Regina Spektor all at the same time. I even received one very special response through e-mail, from a sweet girl who is a true hoper and a real hero to me. Her remarkable story has helped me so much through the last little while. Thank you.

So everything you guys said got me thinking.

I think it's important to treat yourself.

I was raised by my parents, who treat me as parents are wont to treat their children. At the grocery store, every once in a while, I was allowed to pick a treat. They took me to Disneyland. They took me to movies. My mom still makes my favorite phankuchen for breakfast or a snack when I'm living at home and nothing else sounds good or I've bombed a test.

While my parents are the most wonderful, for some reason, I've grown up trying to keep from doing things for myself. Letting myself do things. Or doing them too much. Both are habits. For example, when nothing sounds better than dipping leisurely into the nutella jar for a half hour or so with my feet up on the counter, I'll immediately scold myself and take one quarter teaspoonful, staying away from that area of the cupboard for the rest of the day. I'll try to eat things that don't really hit the spot that day--leftovers, a glass of milk, a turkey sandwich, etc, because in some area of my mind I believe that I shouldn't be indulging because it's big and bad. Do you ever do that?
Or, when I want to sleep in and miss class (don't judge) I'll end up falling re-asleep out of fatigue after waking up early to hem and haw and feel bad that I'm sleeping in. So the point of sleeping in isn't even put into effect besides the sleeping part. And then in the same day I study for way too long, absorbing nothing, trying to make up for the fact that I didn't make it to class.

Because of things like this, not only do I not get the relaxation I'm looking for and often needing--I also seem to waste a lot of my productive time. If I could take the initiative to say, hey, OK, I'm going to do my homework for three hours with warm socks on and then watch House and paint my nails with my new bon-bon nail polish from Wal Mart for one hour afterwards as my reward, I know that I would feel a glow of triumph at the end of both the three hours and the four. I have done this about two times in my life, set this goal, and it has made me feel wonderful. But, usually, you will find me riding in the boat of under or overindulgence. For some reason, I have always done this. Whether it comes from the common misconception that keeping yourself uncomfortable and unhappy in little things equals suffering equals piousness equals value, or it just has to do with the fact that I'm scatterbrained, I don't know.

Over the last few months, many many people have been chirping in randomly to conversate about one treating oneself. I don't know where all of these people are coming from. Obviously many of them are people frequenting my presence who seem to bring it up all the time. Some of the people I don't see often bring it up too, when I see them. Usually in the form of something like "Oh man, I'm really going to need to get myself some sushi after this" or "I can't WAIT to buy those shoes for myself after finals!" or "do you need a movie and some soda after all of that?" at someone else.
This has puzzled me. I didn't know that grownups did this. Really. I did not. I thought people just suffered through everything and got to a movie or dinner or the Nordstrom shoe department or Discovery Park or whatever every five years or so and didn't really enjoy it too much when they got there because they were worrying about going back to work the next day. But, it seems that people all around me are taking the time to take care of themselves. And it seems to make them pretty happy, too.

Some people have been treating me, as well. Without request. Many people. Some treat me to long conversations, surprise visits (love those), some to my favorite ice cream, a snuggle, some just show up with things or cards or notes or love for me, and it's amazing. Really, it is.
I've been thinking about it a lot. Sometimes I try to make goals and they don't really work out, and I can never figure out why, but I think I'm beginning to see a bit of the problem. I try to make fifty goals at one time. Even three. Three is too many when you're talking about really mastering something.
So I'm going to make one goal, and do it, and then move onto the next one. I just did this for the first effective time in the last couple of weeks, made one goal and tried to do as well as I could with it. I felt very triumphant throughout the process, because while I knew I wasn't doing perfectly, I was at least doing. And working on the goal ended up leaving me with an incredible blessing of cool-headedness when I needed it most.

My new goal is to do better in the world of over and underindulging. To quit eating nothing but ice cream, and quit telling myself how stupid I am and studying Physical Science for eight hours at a time to make up for it. I can take the time to buy myself my first Anthropologie dress for Emily's wedding, and I can work my allotted hours at work this week without skipping out to feel shmuncky just because I can. I can make a goal and accomplish it, and then move on to the next. I feel good about it.

I'm totally getting a sno cone on the way to work today. Grape with vanilla soft-serve in the middle. Nothing better than that.


Kaitlyn Flanagan said...

This is why I think you are one amazing person. Really. There is more I want to say but the words are all mushed together. I hope you enjoyed your sno cone!

alayne said...

I love you Julie!

Anna said...

Where do you work Julie!?

Birrell Family said...

I have been thinking about you... everyday this past while. Keep you in my prayers too. You are not alone in your thoughts. We are all too comfortable letting life pull us along, instead of boldly leading it and soon years pass. I am going to do better with doing small things that bring me joy, instead of always focusing on the things I feel I need to cross off my list... an afternoon nap, my own Ben & Jerry's container, exercising? visiting people... well my list will build as I get started, I don't hardly know what to put on it Thanks for the thinking time :)
I sure love you!

Matthew said...

This is fantastic... I'm certainly gonna take what you've said and try to apply it to my life! =D

Brianna Jean said...

I love wanting to do something good for yourself, i'm trying to do that more for myself. You're great Julie