There really ought to be a rule or regulation or something that prohibits or limits online shopping after say, 11pm. Maybe there’s a personal financial app that turns off our credit cards and Paypal during certain hours of the day. You know, like those apps that limit Facebook and other social media. They might work for you. I tried one of the Facebook cutoff apps for about a week, but my anti-authoritarian/inner teenager couldn’t abide the restrictions, so I canceled it. Still, a little tough love might be in order these days.
On the other hand, what is late-night life without some gratuitous internet merchandise browsing? I guess I could pick something to read from the big pile(s) of books in my bedroom (or dining room, or study). And I do.
But, oh, how tantalizing it is to just lie back and peruse specialized bakeware, comfy house slippers in twelve colors, or systems for creating magical gardens from seeds.
Full disclosure: I didn’t buy any of these (although I did buy a bunch of small herbs in pots today for my future back deck container garden). However, I have been yearning for something, I don’t know what, that will satisfy my imagined self-care needs while isolated at home.
About a week ago, around 1:15am, I gave up deep breathing in bed and trying to settle myself, and grabbed my phone (which is conveniently and imprudently beside my bed). Just 20 minutes later, I had ordered these:
Whew– thank goodness I was up late and didn’t miss out on the last copy of the Qigong beginning practice DVD.
I’ve tried the first DVD, and it’s fine. I can’t say as my stress levels have plummeted, but maybe I should try it one more time for good measure.
Speaking of piles of books, my desire for something to ease the malaise, the torpor, the disquietude that are my housemates these days has led me to order books that I don’t need. Here are a few recent purchases:
As you can see, my self-care-book buying efforts have yielded mixed results. Sharon Salzberg is a well-known Buddhist meditation teacher and author. I don’t really think that I’ll establish a meditation practice in 28 days, but it’s a very nice book with sensible instruction and perspective on mindfulness.
The Neil Fiore book, The Now Habit, was recommended by Publication Coach Daphne Gray Grant, who writes a blog and newsletter for writers that I love (which I heard abut from blog cofounder Tracy). I attended Grant’s webinar on tips for academic writers a couple of weeks ago, and she really likes this book. I am certain that when and if I open it, I’ll like it too.
The last book– Here for it, or how to save your life in America— hasn’t arrived yet (I ordered it at 12:30am last night), but I’m chomping at the bit to get at it. R. Eric Thomas is a political writer for Elle magazine, and he incorporates wickedly funny political satire while at the same time gushing over pop culture figures. Okay, I have to share a bit of one of his many columns on Auntie Maxine, Representative Maxine Waters from California, who he worships (as should we):
Representative Maxine Waters, the long-standing public servant who will not be intimidated, cannot be duplicated, and who should never be underestimated, was reelected to another term last night. Though she was denigrated by the often-agitated president, whose checks are always post-dated, her race culminated with her snatching up a decisive 75 percent of the votes. The constantly implicated head of state’d be wise to abdicate with haste as Waters, who is the ranking member of House Financial Services Committee, is poised to become its chair. Get ready to be investigated!
We would all do well to follow Auntie Maxine’s advice, myself especially. But instead of reclaiming my sleep time, I ordered yoga mats and props for my sister and her kids. They are in need of self-care, too, and I thought yoga might do the trick. Even if they don’t use the mats, or straps, or yoga blocks I sent, I figured they’d definitely use these flaxseed eye pillows:
Of course I can’t shop my way to more ease, better sleep, and less loneliness these days. No one can. The fact that I have enough financial resources to buy such things is a mark of my luck and privilege, for which I’m grateful.
Trying to buy or internet-browse our way out of sadness, boredom, fear, anxiety– we all do it. Sharing my silly online adventures (and these are true– I have the receipts to prove it!), looking for serenity in all the wrong places, is just my way of saying this:
If you find you’re up late on your computer, scouring the internet for the perfect pair of red capris (oh wait, that’s me again), or a French Impressionist-themed umbrella, know that you’re not alone. I’m probably up, too.
Hey readers: do you have any silly internet shopping or browsing to report? I told you about mine; I’d love to hear about yours.