Friday, September 28, 2007

Going With The Flow

I have been plagued by a bad case of indecision regarding appointments and shopping for myself, for a long while.

I have no trouble making appointments with hairdressers, doctors or dentists, for anyone else. But I tend to ignore my own needs.

I would rather the necessities of Life came to me, rather than me having to go get them. I will put off shopping or appointments for months, until there is no way around it.

And usually, when I go, it is admittedly with a rather negative attitude. Firstly, I am being taken away from things I'd rather be doing. Secondly, the price of 'stuff' these days is abominable to me. And thirdly, I'd rather hang on to each dollar I have, than spend it on the necessary items of living.

Isn't money made for spending on impractical things? I don't seem to have much trouble plunking down my dollars for piece of Artwork, or a much loved Author's new book.

Crowds, too, have an ability to unsettle me. I find it so much more deliciously entertaining to watch the shoppers, rather than keep my mind focused on what I'm supposedly doing. There are myriad events happening all around me, moments and snippets of Life far more interesting than the mundane choosing of toothpaste.

The other day, however, I had occasion to concede defeat. I had to shop for a female garment, finally having to admit my old bra no longer had the strength left in it to fight gravity. I tend to have a couple; they had all broken, as well, during my period of procrastination.

Instead of imagining all sorts of problems, I told myself at the beginning of this scurrilous adventure that I would go with the flow. If the weather was right for walking, I would walk. If there was no parking space close to the store, I would pass on by, going to the next store on my list. If the stores I visited that day didn't have what I required...well, so be it.

I told myself I would remain focused. I made a pledge with myself that I would be very aware of the numbers on the items I chose...the ones that told me how much I had to pay. The ones that so easily transpose themselves in my brain, turning $57 into $75, at the cash register.

I told myself it was time to become more organized, more in control of everyday living, for myself, this time.

The weather was fine in the morning, but after lunch it had turned nasty. Reminding myself to go with the flow, I drove and parked the car, deciding on the spur of the moment to brave Wind and Rain and walk to each vendor.

As I walked, Rain came in sudden torrents, Wind loosened my hair from its bun, and played wildly with the wisps that came loose. I enjoy weather like this...but sometimes it seems as if when I shop for personal items, no matter how good I look when I start out...when I reach the store, I feel bedraggled.

This time was no exception. With Rain streaming down my jacket, hair and face, I walked into the ladies store. It was not long before a clerk approached me with a small towel, asking if I wanted to dry myself.

I chuckled a bit...I must have presented an odd figure...and then noticed others who came in behind me, looking as if they were prepared for a fling in a dress shop, already dressed to the nines. They were greeted respectfully...not one was approached with a towel. There was no need...these ladies were dry and impeccably dressed; they were obviously well-known clientele who would not do anything as foolish as walking in the Rain, to a dress shop.

These women were there not out of need; they were there for the enjoyment of shopping for themselves. An amazing concept to me.

I, on the other hand, smelled like wet wool, with draggly hair that insisted on dripping water all over the clothes on display...

Alright, I told myself, I had made a decision to go with the flow. If I looked like a rat that came in from the cold and wet, well...

It seemed, however, that I had just hit a small obstacle in the current I was presently following. Was this envy I was feeling? Envy for these women's self-assurance, their ability to look good during adverse conditions, their ease of direction in this tony shop's atmosphere?

Yes, it was...and before I caught it, the ease of the flow I had been following changed.

Suddenly, I felt small, less than the rest...

My demeanour and thoughts reflected this sudden attack of Envy. Clothing that I tried on looked lumpy and wrong. The hovering, little, elderly lady, the one who had originally given me the towel, suggested various items be taken to the Changing Room.

Oh, this was dire! No matter the decor, Changing Rooms are designed to make me look at every inch of my body, in cruel, bright light.

I tried to protest, to no avail. I was given a Room, with a choice of Sweaters to try on.

Oh my...When what appeared before my eyes in the mirror was so much less desirous than the well-put-together ladies who were the store's regular clientele, I caught myself. I recognized how I was letting Envy of other women's air of self-confidence colour this whole experience with a negative, black mass of Jealousy.

Events flowed more smoothly, after this small epiphany...the Rocks and Boulders, created by that raging torrent of Envy, were vanquished somewhat.

Far more light-hearted when I came out of the Changing Room, than when I went in, I puzzled the tiny saleslady a little. I was no longer presenting negative energy towards her...my energy signature had changed to a much more positive one. She became a little bewildered in her actions toward me...this agreeable me.

It would be bewildering...she had met me exhilarated by Wind and Rain's energy, bursting through the door as if I owned the shop; she had witnessed my sudden plunge into deep, raging Waters of Envy; now she was speaking to a peaceful, smiling woman. I had confounded her.

As I braved Wind and Rain once more, I headed along the street to the lingerie shop, where a whole different set of circumstances awaited to challenge my newly found serenity. But that's another story.

Suffice it to say, I have not yet found my under-garment that fostered this whole shopping trip, in the first place.

But I realized how very easy it is for me to suddenly be frantically swimming upstream in the flowing River of Life's current, without realizing it. And how, when I become aware of what I'm doing, I can accept, I can turn around, and then...then I can go with the flow of the River once again.

The only thing is...now I'm back to procrastination mode.

That piece of lingerie I require will just have to wait a little longer. It takes strength to go shopping, when I let Creator set the pace, instead of me.

It takes strength to once more face that Changing Room mirror.

14 comments:

  1. I dont mind shopping so long as my preconceived idea of the item and what it looks like is available. There's nothing worse than going shopping for something you thought should exist only to find out that nodoby, but nobody, would ever consider making something similiar.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Enjoyed your post! Isn't it true how our energy we exert bounces right back at us. I like shopping, generally speaking, though less so w/ each passing year. I do hate shopping for bras, jeans and swimsuits! That is the bane of many a woman's existence, I suppose. Once you find the right bra, then in the future just order it online...much easier! I do so much shopping online anymore...have you discovered Etsy.com yet?

    ReplyDelete
  3. You aren't the only one that enjoys watching other people while you shop. I find that I do that quite often, sometimes for fun, other times for inspiration. Every face has a story to tell.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Davem,

    LOL...there can't be anything more frustrating than not being able to find what you want!

    Amber,

    Thanks for the link...I will take a look. It'll be great, once I find my size. I have to be fitted; it is unfortunately one of the requirements of an arthritic body.

    The energy I project to others will always return to me, you are so right!

    Joe,

    When I was younger, I had no problem shopping. Just have grown beyond it, I suppose...there is not much I need or even want enough to brave the crowds.

    But watching people?...I could do that for hours, and often do, lol!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm glad you found your center and recovered from the women you temporarily thought were better. Betcha they can't write like you.

    I guess bras are pretty hard to shop for. I won't say how old mine are but I think it's time for me to make that trip too.

    But back to the other shoppers. When we have traveled to Italy and in the fancy shops near Roma's Spanish Steps, I often felt just the way you did. Yes, I knew I had the money but somehow I always felt like they belonged and I didn't.

    Thanks for an interesting post.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Karen Sanders (LeRoy)8:30 PM

    Hi Marion
    I've been checking in to your blog for quite some time; Graham mentioned it to me shortly after you started it. I love your posts and they resonate; this one, however, invoked a response. Oh, how I can relate to the shopping experience! What really prompted this comment was the description of yourself in the dress shop..... The first time I saw you, you had come to meet Graham for lunch. You were sitting in the lobby, reading and I was not aware of who you were and I wondered "who is that elegant, composed woman and what is she here for?" Clearly, you ARE the self assured, dressed to the nines woman in the dress shop because that's who I saw waiting in the lobby that day and its still the image that comes to mind many years later! Hugs to you and Graham

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is difficult to do things that you really do not want to do. There are times when you(as nike says) just do it. I can picture you as the type of individual who will place more value on the mind and spirit needs then the body. If you take care of your spirit and your mind then your body will get what it needs. As far as clothing and other items that others place so much value on, it is out there and sometimes you just have to buy something.
    Thanks for your post

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sheila,

    So glad to see you. I hope your transition is going smoothly...I check your site often.

    I think I grew up comparing myself to others around me. I always somehow came up short. It's great that I caught it this time; better late than never, I suppose!

    Because, when I really think on it, my body, whatever it is or isn't, has served me as well as it can for the past 56 years. I'm proud of it; it is a very strong body.

    I don't want to forget that anymore.

    Karen,

    How absolutely great to hear from you! And what a lovely compliment!

    I'm always surprised at how other people see things; sometimes it's so different from my own! I get to thinking that everybody sees reality as I do; not the case at all.

    I had been shopping that day as well, becoming quite frazzled and knowing I was to meet Graham at his office for the first time.

    I wanted to look good. But I was convinced I had lost that battle; by the time I arrived, terrible things had happened to my hair, etc. What you saw as composure was me with all my boundaries and defenses on full alert!

    Thank you for telling me; I guess I don't always project what is in the inside to the outside. And in this case, my insides will have to change to make the outside real.

    Don't be a stranger, Karen...I've thought of you often and wondered how you have been, since we last spoke. Hugs right back at you from both Graham and I.

    Dave,

    How nice to see you back, safe and sound! I hope you had a lovely holiday.

    When I have to finally 'just do it' I tend to stock up, so that I can ignore the whole shopping thing for a long time.

    But as you say, if I got the things done when they needed to be done, then I believe Life could be whole lot easier. Going shopping under pressure is torture!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi! This is one hell of a blog! Could we exchange links?

    My blog is - Infinitely CRAZY

    Please do leave me a comment after linking to me(if you agree to the exchange, of course)

    Thanks!
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. We must be all women!! I was nodding my head as I read thinking it's so like me, taking care of others and me last, a mum thing to do. Then the clothing bit, me again. I need also a few new things but stick to the oldies really 'cause I can't face change rooms, I don't like what those mirrors tell me Ha Ha! But .. again your post is so positive and it teaches me that personality and charm can overpower every thing!
    Well done Marion!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I loved this. I will confess that I generally enjoy shopping. Until I touch every garment in the story, I'm not finished.

    Bra shopping is all different though. I learned years ago that the makers change models regularly. So now when I find one that works, I return to the store to buy six more. This is also motivation to keep my weight in check through the years. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. You are an amazing writer. I have felt many of those feelings while having to force myself to shop or make and go to appointments.

    I have read that this is the natural result of spending too much time at home, because I haven't worked outside the home in many years.

    I noticed this same apprehension and avoidance about coming back to America after having been overseas for many years.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Crazy King,

    Welcome and thanks for visiting!

    Hann,

    How nice to see you! I hope your move went well and that you are settled in, with computer access at home now!

    Jan,

    Exactly...my body is changing, however, and I need a fitting now...and then I'm going to take your suggestion, and buy six of the darn things!

    Marsha,

    I hear what you're saying...one can get too insulated, for sure. And then it becomes an effort to go out, even bringing fear of the outing along with it.

    If it's not agoraphobia, then I suppose it just might be because of the comfort level and how safe our surroundings are...and what our perceptions of the outside world is like.

    I love going out, however...just not shopping, lol!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Have you tried shopping online Marion. I buy a lot of things on the net now, especially clothes and underwear. I can try them on in the comfort of my own home and return anything that doesn't fit. Sometimes when I've had an extrememly stressful week at work, I can do without the stress of shopping and queueing up for changing rooms as well. I agree it's even more frustrating when you go shopping for something and can't find what you want!

    Sometimes when you see what appears to be confident, self assured people, they are not all they seem. It's the person inside that matters. Always remember that Marion. You have a beautiful soul that's the important thing.

    ReplyDelete

Google