“I love to give gifts that pamper and indulge—and make a person feel really special.” – Oprah Winfrey
My friend Tina was a busy mother of five, who worked part-time while working on her doctorate degree. She also made time to help others. She volunteered at events at her church and arranged field trips for the children at her kids’ school. She baked for others often and sent greeting cards for every occasion. Tina entertained frequently, especially for her kids’ birthdays and for the holidays. She was always doing something for someone, and as a consequence, she was often stressed.
Tina developed adrenal cortical cancer at the age of 45, but she still lived her life fully. During her treatment, she told me she’d gone with a friend for a massage and manicure. She also had purchased shea butter soap for herself because she loved its gentle softness. Since she had always been thrifty, I said, “Tina, that’s not like you!”
Tina answered, “I’ve learned to pamper myself. We all need to be pampered sometimes. Pamper yourself, clean less, give more time to yourself.” Tina passed away a couple of months later.
When you hear that phrase “pamper yourself,” how do you react? Do you think pampering yourself is wrong?
Maybe it is wrong to be pampered all the time. But I suspect most of us are like Tina, always doing something for someone else and seldom being pampered.
I’ve been fortunate recently and had several opportunities to be pampered. Friends of my husband and me invited us to their home on a lake in Wisconsin for a weekend, and they wouldn’t let us do anything except to help with meals. We relaxed and enjoyed beautiful views and a visit to a nearby farm.A couple of weeks later, a member of my local women’s club invited the gourmet group to her home. She said, “There will be a variety of margaritas served, Mexican beer, and lemonade, along with fajitas and other Mexican food. I have everything covered, so no one needs to bring anything.” I followed up anyway by asking her what I could bring, but she declined, saying her daughter would assist.
At the event, everyone sampled three desserts: key lime pie, molten chocolate lava cake, and strawberry shortcake. I enjoyed being pampered and went home feeling cared for.
And then I was really pampered by a new friend who recently invited classmates and me to her mansion on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin for an overnight. Her assistant prepared an early Thanksgiving Dinner for us in the evening and brunch the next day. I will never forget the beautiful accommodations, the stunning views, and the Apple Cider Sangria with cinnamon sugar around the rim of the glass.
If you are thinking that I am rich, you are mistaken. This is a lesson to learn from my generous friends who hosted each of these events—to share what we’ve been given. But that is a topic for another day.
We can react in different ways when we are pampered. We can be jealous of our friends with more material goods. We can refuse to accept gifts of pampering. We can feel we don’t deserve it.
Or, we can just enjoy. I have no idea why I am being pampered so much recently, but I choose to take a lesson from my friend Tina and accept it with gratitude and pleasure.
When have you been pampered recently? How did you feel?