" One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous
small treats, and if some of these can be inexpensive
and quickly procured so much the better. "
IRIS MURDOCH, The Sea, The Sea
I haven't gone shopping 'just for fun' since March. It's been only for essentials and basics, so you can imagine what a real treat it was when, after picking up a book on hold at the library, I turned the car towards the Value Village before coming home. Although mainly interested in the book section, I followed the arrows up and down the other aisles along the way, browsing in case something else caught my eye. And there was! A lime green vase and a ceramic fruit bowl, plus I also found a small French-made frying pan in excellent condition, which for $5.99, plus a 30% discount, made it a bargain not to be left behind.
I came home and I was so excited, I had to phone my sister, who kindly indulged me by letting me chatter on about the books and other treats I found. The best treat, though, was to just be out doing something ordinary on a beautiful sunny day with a hint of crisp apple in the air. It felt almost normal, even with the masks.
" By small treats, I mean ordinary, minor indulgences that
we don't give ourselves every single day. Small treats are a lovely
source of momentary pleasure in our everyday lives, of course,
and I think they also have a deeper role to play in happiness. "
from GH online article 'Spoil Yourself', Aug 2012
Well known author Gretchen Rubin once asked the question in an online article, why do small treats matter? She said when we feel depleted and drained, when we start to feel exhausted, resentful, even angry, indulging in a small treat helps refresh and energize us. I think we all find that to be true. My thirty minute snoop through the thrift store was such a treat. It boosted my creative energy just to be around other people, just to hear their chatter, just to share the small—or great—pleasure of snooping through a thrift store on the hunt for a treasure. Even if we had to social distance and wear masks, it gave me a sense of being wildly alive in my world again.
Everything I bought was a bargain. I didn't notice until I got home that the amiable young lady at the checkout gave me a 30% seniors discount--woohoo--which truly made it bargain city indeed. Of course there is the downside, I mean, she didn't ask if I was a senior, she just gave it to me. It had to have been my eyebrows, which to my chagrin, are turning grey on me. I'd forgotten to give them a colouration before I went out. And, what with wearing my mask, all anyone sees of our faces now are the eyes and those grey straggles in my eye brows standing out. Yes, that must have been it (wink). On second thought, who cares, eh?
As the young woman cashed out my items, the pair of us had a lovely chat about the books, she looked at the Elie Wiesel book Night and remembered reading it in school and that it was a great book, even if it was a hard story about the author's experience being with his father in the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. We both agreed we should read some of these hard stories, to be witnesses to them, even if they are hard; after all, we are only hearing the story, not living through it like they had.
That tiny exchange left its mark in my mind, on my day. It was all part of the treat of a spontaneous visit to the thrift store.
On that note, I'm off to read some books, snip a fresh fistful of sweet peas for my new vase, maybe make an omelet in that new-to-me frying pan. I'm wishing you a beautiful day....and I hope you have at least one treat to mark the day.
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