Perception, Gratitude and Time

There’s this eye shadow pallet I’ve been wanting. It’s the Too Faced White Chocolate Chip pallet if you’re the sort that cares. I love this brand, especially their chocolate collection. So when I saw this tiny little pallet, I wanted it desperately.

Now, as you know, my family isn’t super well off. We do okay, for the most part. Mostly I wear drugstore brand makeup, but I do occasionally indulge in something a little more pricey. So, when I saw that this pallet was $26, the most affordable pallet I’ve ever seen this brand do, I figured I could probably swing that. I went back and forth a lot. I have two cons to support, Easter and one other thing I’ll tell you about at the end of this post.

There was a time in my life when it was just me and my older daughter when $26 was a stupid amount of money to spend on makeup. Not just for one piece of makeup, mind you. If I blew more than $15 on myself at a time I was likely to go into a panic. $12 for a foundation? Forget that. I wasn’t at drugstore prices, I was at Dollar Store prices.

Flash forward to today, and I consider $12 for a foundation a fine price. I even routinely buy a $23 mascara.

So, after having talked myself into getting this pallet, I made a special trip to my local makeup store just to buy it. We went in, and my kids made a beeline for the Urban Decay section to try on eye shadows. I went to the Too Faced section. It wasn’t there.

Before disappointment could sink in too much, I asked a sales clerk if they had it. “Oh yeah, it’s up here,” she said and led me to the travel size/ compulsion buy section over by the registers.

I have to say this took me down a few pegs. This thing, this material thing that I’d obsessed with, was in the compulsion product section.

Now, I get that there are people in this world to whom a $26 product is nothing. It’s an easy pickup. Not to me, though. I can’t even imagine that being just an add-on item for me. Hell, a $12 product isn’t an add-on item for me!

Even so, I was exceptionally grateful to be able to comfortably afford a $26 pallet. I could do it and not go without, you know, food. As I mentioned earlier, that was not a thing I could always just do.

Recently I had a talk with another local author who was getting ready for her own book signing. I told her how many copies I sold at my signing. The look of horror on her face was, to say the least, daunting.

But when I had my signings, I didn’t give a damn how many books I actually sold. I just wanted people to show up and talk to me about my writing. I wanted to hand out my business cards, meet some people and get my face out there. Because I’m a brand new author, and I don’t expect people to give me their hard earned money yet.

There was a time when I dreamed about having a book signing. Screw that; there was a time when I dreamed of having my book published. Nope, not even that. There was a time when I thought I’d never actually finish the damned book to start with! There was a time I thought I’d never have 100 blog followers, never have people reading my blog, never have people reading my books.

I know that there are bloggers who have thousands of followers. People do make a living on their writing. People do have millions of screaming fans who wait eagerly for their next book. People casually pick up $26 freaking eyes shadow pallets like it’s no thing! People go to Starbucks just because they want a cup of coffee, and not as a special and rare treat!

But I’m not one of those people. I’m insanely grateful for everything I have because all of it is something that I once never thought I’d have. I thought I’d never have my own house, or get married, or have a published book, or make any freaking money writing.

The point is that your perception is going to alter as you go along your life. But I hope that your gratitude for your life doesn’t.

Also, as a great example of perceptions changing, mine changed a whole bunch today. My oldest daughter turned 13 today. I’m having trouble breathing, for real you guys. Please join me in wishing my monster a happy birthday and encouraging her to not act like a teenage girl.

So how about you? What do you have today that you thought you’d never in a million years have? Let us know in the comments below. What are you super grateful for?

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