I learned a valuable lesson recently on investing in myself. I have never been one to spend a lot on myself and that is especially true with clothes. I pride myself on the discounts I am able to find by shopping clearance racks and thrift stores. Recently I found myself with an event that I needed to dress up for and no pants that actually fit. You see I’ve gained some weight over the winter and am not really happy about my current appearance. Sigh! So I went to a thrift store looking for something to wear. In fact I went to several thrift and consignment stores and couldn’t find something that both fit and was event appropriate. When I unhappily relayed my troubles to my friend she recommended that I go to her favorite store where they sell pants “that will fit great and make you look like you lost 10 pounds instantly”. I know that store and their clothes aren’t cheap. In fact she tells me these pants cost $80 but they’re well worth the investment and that I’ll have them for years. I decide to listen to her (she is a third degree black belt after all). I go to the store and begin trying on pants. The poor sales girl. I must have tried on 11 pair of pants! I’m sure she never worked so hard for such a small commission.
An hour later I leave with a pair of pants, a blouse and a pair of earrings and a cost of $130. I have to admit though that I had a fabulous outfit. When I put that outfit on, I felt amazing! I felt better about myself than I have in years. I felt more confident and, dare I say, sexier! I actually looked at myself in the mirror and liked the image I saw. For the first time I understood the value of such an investment. I will be able to wear these for work and will probably wear them once a week for the next year (or more). Now I have bought designer pants at thrift and consignment stores before. In fact, I’ve bought pants from this same retailer second hand before. The difference is I tried on 11 pairs of pants in one location until I found the perfect ones. When I buy something second hand I’m more willing to settle for “good enough” and I usually spend a lot of time driving around checking out what the current selection is. My time is valuable. I needed something to wear the next day that was going to look fabulous.
I think about this in terms of my profession. There are so many offerings for massage lately each with their own widely varied price point. There is everything from national discount chains to independent practitioners like myself. Some people are attracted to the price point of the national chains. I can certainly understand that not being independently wealthy myself. I look at massage therapy as an investment in yourself, in your health. You can spend a little money and get a “good enough” massage. Maybe you’ll have to go a little more frequently because maybe the benefits aren’t as long lasting. Or you can spend a little more and go to someone with years of experience and training who can help you feel better faster. Overall you’ll invest less money and less of your most valuable asset- Time! The practitioner will be able work on your issue more effectively and will be better able to instruct you on a home care program so that you can help manage your pain. Can you find someone of that quality in one of the big box massage retailers? I’m sure you can but I’d argue they are the exception not the rule and you’ll spend a lot more time and money searching for that diamond in the rough.
Kym Berrien obtained her training and certification through the Pennsylvania School of Muscle Therapy, graduating in 2001. She also possesses specialized training in Pain Management and Women’s Health as well as being a DONA trained Birth and Postpartum Doula. She is dedicated to helping her clients achieve the health they deserve.