It was December 25th, years ago, when I had my big epiphany.
All eyes were on me.
As always, I waited to open my gifts until the very end, only so I can soak up watching everyone open theirs.
I always spend a lot of time and care picking out the perfect gift for my family and friends.
So naturally, I was curious what was picked out for me.
My imagination went wild.
Maybe that cashmere sweater I’ve been wanting?
And, seriously, this year the package was huge.
It’s that Moncler coat!
I slowly unwrapped the package with childlike anticipation. Finally, I got to the contents of the box. I was confused.
I tried to act all happy and excited, despite the fact that I was heartbroken.
What the hell arethese things?
Oh, I did receive a pair of shoes.….. but not Jimmy Choos.
In the box were these huge things that looked like something worn by Cyclops.
“Oh, they’re so cute!” I said with my best fake smile plastered across my face.
What are they?
“Honey, they’re snowshoes,” he said with excitement.
I was not excited!
I was new to the Colorado scene.
In the South, we don’t see such contraptions.
“Awww…how sweet, darling!” I replied in a true Southern way.
The fake smile morphed into my awkward even more fake giggle.
And, my eyes started to well up a bit.
And, no, they were not tears of joy.
Blink eyes, blink!
Hold back the tears.
Now, look away from him.
Pretend to pick up wrapping paper on the ground.
Keep your head down.
Do not make eye contact.
I repeat – Do NOT make eye contact.
There is nothing wrong with snowshoes.
Now, let me be clear: I’ve used them, and they are fun.
However, I felt this tremendous sadness welling up inside of me while I stared at the huge thingamajigs.
The pity party had officially started.
I put so much effort into finding the perfect gifts for everyone.
I think about what they love and what will bring them the most joy.
Every. Single. Year.
It brings me so much joy to see them smile a real smile.
And, what did I get?
Where was my Chanel bag? Trip to the English countryside? String of rare pearls?
I was spiraling into my self-made sorry, all because of a pair of snowshoes, a gift that would bring many women so much pleasure. But not for Madame Tonya. So many emotions came flooding in and took over my mind and body
I felt deep envy towards the women who received gifts from their loved ones that matched their refined tastes.
I felt deep resentment because no one one seemed to care about me.
I felt mad at myself feeling duped with how much time and energy I give to everyone else.
And, worst of all……
I felt very justified.
He should know what I want.
They should think more about my gifts.
I do so much for them.
Why is everyone else so lucky and loved?
(Isn’t it fascinating how we’ll fight for our own misery?)
Then it dawned on me.
If I want something, I needed to stop waiting for Santa.
(I mean, c’mon! He stopped coming to visit me about three decades ago.)
I was waiting on something outside of myself to give me what I wanted.
(This is the exact thing that I advise my clients not to do)
Yep. That Christmas brought out my inner princess — full of pity, resentment and envy. When my pity party was finally over, I decided to put my crown back on my head and act like a Queen.
It was time to get to work.
I stopped waiting for Santa.
Two extremely valuable lessons were presented to me that Christmas:
Lesson #1 — Be grateful for whatever you receive.
Lesson #2 — Don’t wait. Give yourself what you want!
As for lesson #1: I needed to go deeper than just having gratitude. I also needed to stop expecting others to fulfill my every wish.
On lesson #2: After that incident had passed (when “I’d stopped the internal hissy fit” as my mother calls it), I sat down and made a list of my “wants” — everything from a massage to a tropical vacation.
Since that day, I’ve given myself an array of things.
The list includes:
- Monthly massages at the local spa.
- A new Canon camera.
- Weekly flowers from the Farmers Market.
- A Givenchy bag I swore that only a Kardashian could pull off.
- Whisking off to Paris, Mexico, South of France, Italy.
- Treating my parents to a trip to Costa Rica with me and my daughter.
- Nights out to dinner with my girlfriends.
- New La Perla lingerie.
- A Magnum of Dom.
- Weekends with girlfriends.
- Guilt free time alone. With no plans. No kids. And a glass of vino.
- That little antique brooch that I couldn’t stop thinking about…. the little adornment that my man would blow a gasket if he knew how much I paid!
…And my list includes some other things that are in my 2016 Holiday Self Gift Guide
This only happened because I stopped waiting for someone to give to me what I wanted and created it for myself.
It’s not your husband, children, friends or anyone’s job to give you what you want.
That’s all on you.
Sure, you can ask for it, but don’t expect it! And, certainly don’t depend on it.
When it happens, consider it icing on your already beautifully decorated cake.
If you want better relationships and a sense of self-pride, stop expecting others to give to you what you can give to yourself (which is basically everything you want).
Now, let me be very clear:
I am not a “man-hater.”
(I adore men)
Nor am I a “Loud Liberated Woman.”
(I am strong, but I don’t feel like I need to go around shouting about my independence).
I am all for a man opening my door and buying me gifts.
I love being a lady.
I love receiving.
I’ve become the kind of woman who works to provide for my own needs. And, let me assure you: nothing will bring you greater joy than knowing you can depend on yourself.
Another beautiful results is this: I appreciate every experience and gift I receive (even a pair of snowshoes!).
These women stopped waiting for Santa, too.
One of my clients always had a strong desire to take a trip to Paris. She waited for years for her husband to take her. She begged, pleaded, offered sex (note to reader: my hand is raised, as I can definitely relate to this!).
And, after over a decade, still no trip to Paris.
“How’s that working for you?” I asked.
“Obviously, not that well,” she admitted.
She stopped waiting and booked her own ticket to Paris
Not only did she have the time of her life in Paris, her relationship with hubby also was better. And yes, in the bedroom, they returned to passionate love. It was no longer fueled by manipulation.
Another client of mine was so smitten snipping magazines and adding pins to her pinterest board because she wanted to remodel her kitchen. She was waiting for her hubby to break out his tool belt and get to work. And she waited. And waited.
“How long are you planning to wait?” I asked.
“Looks like a lifetime if I’m depending on him to do it,” she replied.
She stopped waiting and created a plan, followed through on it, and had her dream kitchen within the year.
What do you want? Here’s how you can get it:
Your plan must start with your mind, because if you don’t believe you can, you won’t.
Stop what you’re thinking about right now, and focus – I believe that you’re reading this for a reason.
Here’s what you can do, right now:
1. Think about it.
A lot of women haven’t even considered what they want for years, so it’s a muscle you must start building.
Want some beautiful inspiration?
2. Write it down.
Put that gorgeous journal you’ve set aside and have been dying to use for a special occasion to good use (finally!)
3. Then, make a plan to create it!
A simple first step is to surround yourself with women who will support you. Ones who share your dreams and desires.
If you stay inspired, and if you stoke that fire in your belly, I can guarantee that you will blow your own mind. Decide right now that you are going to French Kiss this New Year with all your heart, mind and soul. In the words of Hafiz:
When I am lying on my deathbed Is that I did not kiss you enough”.
Thank you for being a part of the French Kiss Life community.
We’ve co-created a magical place that transcends the noise of today’s world. Like a great song that enraptures you or that night out you’ll never forget. It’s where women come to be inspired. Our community and this lifestyle is about passion, inspiration, beauty, boldness, and elegance. It’s about love, joy & excitement. To all of us, it feels like home — the home that we never knew existed; until we landed here.
There are no words to tell you how much you mean to me. And I know from all of the posts on social media and the emails we receive, and when we gather together in person, it is so clear how much we all mean to each other.
Oh, and one more thing….
If you want to give me something for the holidays, I’d be so grateful if you’d share this blog post with this holiday gift guide with your girlfriends.
Sometimes I forget……. that all you have to do to create….. is to ask!