Some people have yoga. Others have meditation. I have the mall.
No, not them all. THE MALL. 🙂
I haven’t been to the mall in a while. I mean, I haven’t been to the mall by myself in a while. Sure, we run into the Lego store, chase the kids around a bit, have a quick dinner, and head home. We’ve done that a couple times. That’s not relaxing.
But there’s something that happens when I go into a mall alone. It’s a very particular mall, actually — the one I used to go to as a young girl. The elevator music has a calming effect, the perfume-y smell is enchanting, and the tile under my feet feels familiar. I used to go to this mall a lot as a kid, and it brings me right back to childhood. My cares melt away. I’m a kid again.
I haven’t been to this mall in a long time, though. First of all, I don’t have a ton of alone time to go wandering around malls aimlessly. And second of all, I think about the money aspect. It’s not exactly like I’m independently wealthy. Third, I have 10,000 other things to do with my time — things that are seemingly more productive like cooking, cleaning, working on a project, procrastinating…important things.
Well, I’ve been craving a vacation. The heavy winter has gotten me down, and I’m turning into a shut-in.
Out of the blue, the mall beckoned me with its promises of pampering.
But, no, I argued. I can’t waste time at the mall. I have things to do.
Yes, that’s true. But when are we allowed to pamper ourselves? We jump from one thing to the next and find ourselves way down at the bottom of the totem pole. It’s self-inflicted though. If I told my husband that I wanted to go to the mall alone, he’d usher me right out the door. It’s not that other people are holding me back. It’s that I’m holding myself back. I think of all the practical things that I should be doing, and wandering around the mall with zero purpose is anything but practical. I also feel guilty taking care of myself. How can I possibly spend time on myself when I have other people to take care of?
I watch The Real Housewives (because who can look away), and I see how these people pamper themselves. The hair, the nails, the outfits. Who has time for that? I just reason that their luxuries come from being so rich. Of course they have time to do their nails. Then again, I’m sure there are rich people that don’t take care of themselves like these ladies do…
How much time would it take me to put on makeup in the morning or pick out a cute outfit or do my hair? I actually haven’t gotten a haircut in almost a year for two reasons. One is that I have better things to do than sit in a chair for an hour (so I say). And the next is more practical. I have curly hair, and other girls with curly hair will backup the fact that things can often turn disastrous when someone is cutting into your locks. I’ve had some really weird, eccentric cuts done in a salon because it’s fun to experiment with my hair. So I try and stay away.
But then I’m at the point where my hair is a frizz-ball, my face is screaming for moisturizer, and my clothes are wrinkled. Is this really what it means to be busy? Or is this something else? LIKE NOT CARING ABOUT ONE’S SELF?? (Didn’t I learn anything from this post last year? https://williamssyndromesmile.com/2013/07/15/self-care/)
Enough, I say!! It’s time that I put on my Real Housewives facade and pamper myself.
So, for the first time in a long time, I went to the mall alone. Just me and my thoughts. I took my time eating lunch. I walked into all the stores — up and down the aisles until my feet hurt. I bought some body lotion for my super dry skin. And I just let myself be. I tried not to judge if this was a proper use of my time. I just let myself enjoy it for what it was — a day of pampering.
And, as I drove home, I made the bold move of calling a salon to see if they would take me and my frizzy hair. They had an opening! Funnily enough, getting my haircut wasn’t the nightmarish time-waster that I imagined. It took a half hour and was easy as pie. The hairstylist also happened to be a curly specialist, so I lucked out.
Because I took a little time to do some pampering, I feel completely amazing. That’s all it took. Just a few hours of wandering around a mall plus a haircut, and suddenly I’m rejuvenated for weeks. I didn’t have to spend David Foster’s money (Real Housewives reference) to get to this point. It cost me a few hours and a couple bucks. Totally reasonable.
I think everyone needs to waste time on his or herself every once in a while. And I don’t think that sitting in front of the tv like a zombie or playing on one’s phone counts. I mean really, foolishly wasting time doing something that you wouldn’t normally do — preferably outside of the house. Just waste time for a day and don’t judge yourself. A little pampering goes a long way.
To my husband: This goes both ways, you know? I want you to tell me how you’re going to waste time on yourself one day this weekend. No judgement or guilt allowed. Just some good, solid pampering.