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Mall Glamor

I had occasion to take a walk through a mall recently. Meeting a dear friend halfway between our houses meant meeting for lunch in the Annapolis Mall. And having parked at one end, I discovered that the restaurant was at the complete opposite end. So I figured I’d get a good power walk in. And off I went.

What I noticed, besides the foreign men lurking at the shop entrances and lunging out like spiders to hand me a coupon I refused, was all the ‘buy now’ newness. And how this no longer held any glamor for me.

Santa in 2014 on shalavee.com

When I was young with disposable income, either mine or my parents, I loved the mall. As teenagers, we would spend hours doing laps around and around the chosen mall taking in the trends, eating a slice of pizza, goofing off, flirting with foreign teenagers, and fondling clothing we weren’t going to buy. As a twenty something, my interest in my beauty brought me back to the mall for the glamor of fashion, makeup, accessories, and shoes.

Does it surprise me to note that the glamor, the narcissism that marked my youth has left, gone with my innocence and my disposable income. No, nothing really surprises me anymore except a beautiful sunset. As I got my heart pumping with my power walk, I felt righteous knowing that I was an American who wasn’t obsessed by the getting and the spending. And that I wasn’t feeding the machine which is the retail industry. One that seems to cater to skinny no hipped boy/girls who don’t mind things clinging to their shins. Ecchh.train garden on shalavee.com

I have been slowly fitting back into what I do have in my closet, much of which is thrifted. And putting on make-up. I do feel the self-love being rekindled that I lost a little after the birth of Fiona. I’ve recently inventoried what I have in my closets. And when I am ready to make more changes to my wardrobe, I’ll go looking for what I need and get a little shopping therapy on. Because if it’s seldom to happen, as in “I lost weight and am ready to pull off a personal episode of What Not to Wear”, it’s a little more fun to shop. The glamor is there, just in a different way.

I Am Enough

We are enough.

I read these words and I want to live this truth so badly. Because, I go in and out of believing this is true. And believing I’m enough is where I, and everyone, needs to be.

Let me give you the excerpt from Kelly Rae Roberts that brought me this thought. She wrote in this post about letting herself off the hook and off the burnout train,

I have a long way to go, but I’ve exhaled, unhooked, and detoxed from the I am not enough gremlins. I don’t want my worthiness attached to what I do and how much I do it. I don’t want it to be attached to anything. We are enough. As is.”

This week was not a happy and contented week for me. One week out of every month needs to be thrown on the fire and sacrificed to the gods of unhappiness. I was accomplishing all the tasks I had deemed necessary. It was all getting done and I wasn’t even stressing about Christmas, but I felt disgruntled. I wanted to feel that liquid chocolate satisfaction of my accomplishments. And to be a super Mommy too. But in the end, I didn’t feel like I got it right. It wasn’t enough happiness the right way. I was detached from all my accomplishments and spinning wheels in my soul.

2014 wrapping paper line up on Shalavee.com

I resent not having time to myself to do whatever I want for as long as I want it. I don’t resent the toddler who prevents this, just the lack of me-time. I was irritated at the anticipation of the nap being screwed up. In fact, now, I’m vaguely hostile for that very fact. Because the un-napped baby is nasty later and there’s no true unplug for me…for 12 hours straight.

I perceive that I’m responsible for too many other people’s happinesses. Whether they feel that’s true is of no consequence. And I’m not sure if I’ll ever get that perceived burden out of my head because it’s rooted pretty deeply. I’m not enough to be the best everyone on top of being my best self. Now I hear myself as whiny and that’s not good either.

The poo sandwich just keeps getting bigger on the days where I make it all about poor me. I’ll never and I can’t and nothing. Those are how I hear conversations starting.

And that is in fact enough of that.

Enter gratitude. I have so many people in my life who care dearly for me. They may not be the people I wish cared or in the exact way that I wish they cared but I know there’s care there. My family at the Christmas parade in Denton, MD on Shlalavee.com

My kids are safe and healthy and none the worse for my outbursts or disgruntlement. And many people in the world aren’t able to say that today.

I am finding my way and discovering the things that work and the talents that I can value in myself. It’s slow but it’s progress. And I can’t open my eyes any wider than they are. I have to trust the process. I have to show up every day and work hard and know that when I’m ready for whatever needs to happen, it will happen.

And I need to lighten the heck up. Do something silly and fun. Ask for what I need. And tell the soul-suckers there’s not enough of me to go around. Because I owe me something better than spread thin, eye-twitching, unsatisfied Shalagh. I owe me the happy safe little gal who likes to make things pretty and see other people laugh. She is joy and in her moments, she is enough. And she has no care but for herself and her soul satisfaction.

Progress Is A New Shopping Center

There’s more “progress” happening in our sleepy little town. Remember the Walmart they built that I never shop in?

suburbia sprawling on Shalavee.com

There’s more mall sprawling happening next door. Happened to meet the foreman after I came out of the Y and was taking pictures. He was nervous about me taking those pictures. Seems people taking random pictures of his construction sites had gotten him in trouble before. Safety risks were a questionable issue. I assured him I was just taking pictures of the equipment for my kid. I was kinda telling the truth.

suburbia sprawling on Shalavee.com

Rumor is that there’s absolutely nothing going into the plaza that I care about. A pet store and a mattress store. And the Rite Aid gets to expand. Whoop Dee Doo. So progress happens whether you care or not. I hope they get her done soon as I had to work hard the other day to deliver my recycling behind the building. Diggers and detours are everywhere.

digger on Shalavee.com

And “progress” continues whether you want it to or not.

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