Stop This World

Gracefully going from victim to survivor to servant leader in the heartland

I love flowers.  I love flowers enough that I took a college class in floral design.  (I graduated from a College of Agriculture so we had these cool classes)  I took this class during my victory lap in college (5th year) and it was a lot of fun.  I was able to learn the different names of flowers, how to put them into bouquets, make corsages and learn about design.  One fun story is when my group got assigned to do a funeral arrangement with Birds of Paradise, some other random smaller flowers and a terra cotta rectangular pot.  We all looked at each other in horror and started laughing.  What in the world are we going to do with this?  The poor person who would have this arrangement at their funeral would be very unhappy.  Heck, I had never even seen a real Bird of Paradise.  All I knew was the Little Jimmy Dickens song with the line of “may the bird of paradise fly up your nose.”  How on earth were we going to pull this off?

Well, we somehow managed to make a decent looking arrangement from all that we learned and received some compliments.  To this day I think that the only person who would enjoy that arrangement would be one of the Golden Girls displaying it out on their lanai.  As a side note, thank you to my friend Christa for getting me through the bow making section of the class.  That is definitely not a talent of mine and one of the few times I cheated in college was when I had her make my bows.  Still can’t make a decent bow.

When I was in college is also when I learned that I need to treat myself every now and then.  I lived in a sorority for two years and would see many of my friends getting flowers from their boyfriends, fiance’s, secret admirer, etc.  I was kind of jealous.  I wish someone would send me some flowers!  If I would wait around for someone to give me flowers it would be for a funeral or job change.  Not exactly what I had in mind.

I realized at that moment in college that I didn’t need anybody to send me flowers.  I could buy myself flowers and feel no awkwardness.  You might wonder why I felt awkward buying myself flowers.  It’s kind of like going to a movie for the first time by yourself.  You typically think that you go to a movie with someone else, but going by yourself is actually great!  More popcorn for yourself!  Anyway, I bought myself flowers and displayed them in my room at the sorority.  Nothing fancy.  Just some flowers I found at the grocery store that were inexpensive.

One day, one of my friends asked me who gave me the flowers and I told her that I bought them for myself.  She was a bit stunned by this admission.  Why would you buy yourself flowers?  My response was somewhere along the lines of, “why not treat myself to something I enjoy?”  I don’t need another person to give me flowers to actually enjoy them.  I am fully capable of buying my own flowers, thank you very much.

There in started my love affair with buying flowers just because I could.  I typically don’t splurge too much, but a bunch of tulips in a simple vase will bring joy to even the most dreary winter day.  A simple sun flower brings happiness during the summer.  There’s just something about having flowers that brighten my mood.

When I lived in the DC area, I lived next door to a Whole Foods and they had a really nice floral section.  I bought myself a lot of flowers during my time in DC.  If I had an especially bad day I would stop by Whole Foods and grab a bunch of flowers.  I had lots of bad days.  Those flowers were the one ray of hope I had in my apartment while I was dealing with my PTSD.  I didn’t like leaving my apartment, so the flowers lightened the mood.  Even though I was in the throws of anxiety & depression I still knew that I could do something nice for myself. 

So, what is something that you consider a treat that you could buy or do for yourself more often?  Maybe it isn’t flowers.  Maybe it is buying your favorite bottle of wine or splurging on the ‘fancy’ coffee.  Whatever it is, treat yourself.  There is nothing wrong with being kind to yourself, so go buy the flowers!

PS – Might I suggest the beautiful alstroemeria flowers.  They come in vibrant colors, are inexpensive and they last for weeks.  You’ll thank me later.

One thought on “Buy the Flowers

  1. Sandy Ducharme says:

    Thank you for your wisdom Julie!


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