Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mild Wild Abandon

I am not a wild abandon girl. I am not interested in dangerous sports, living on the wild side, drug use, or slutty behavior. In fact, I'm pretty much a scaredy cat about high risk behavior or anything that could be construed as illegal.

I'm scared of heights so that closes the door on many "wild abandon" activities. I'm scared of bugs and birds and ducks - so no wild abandon with them. I'm even scared of most rides at amusement parks - a place were wild abandon runs rampant for most people, but not for me.

As a scaredy cat, I experience mild wild abandon. Wild abandon with what most adults are supposed to have under control.

I experience wild abandon with silliness.
I experience wild abandon with anxiety.
I experience wild abandon with laughter.
I experience wild abandon with saying things that I shouldn't.
I experience wild abandon in the swimming pool.
I experience wild abandon with eating.
I experience wild abandon with drinking.
I experience wild abandon with spending.

Risky behaviors in their own way.

I've known for a long time that if I didn't release my inner wild abandon in one way, it would pop out in another way. Kind of like a pressure cooker with more than one pressure release valve.

I think my friend, Donna, was the first person to call my attention to this. She observed (being the observant psychologist that she is) that if I was on a diet, I binged by spending. If I was on a budget, I binged by eating. If I unfortunately was on a diet and a budget, I binged by letting my car and my house become total pig sties. It was like there HAD to be some area of my life that was out of control.

Wild abandon = no self control???

I like the term wild abandon SO MUCH MORE.

Anyway, I experienced this yesterday. Nina, Elisa, Barb, and I were out shopping and I just felt out of sorts, unfulfilled, not having fun, emotionally shut down. (And I personally hate emotionally shut down.)

At Hobby Lobby, I spent an hour looking over all the beads and pendants and tools and books. I wanted to buy them all. But I remembered that I know nothing about beading and kept myself to one purchase - a $2.99 case to put beads in for storage. (This is because the first thing I'm going to do is take all my single earrings - where I've lost the match - and take them apart to make into something different. Speaking of which: if you want to donate single earrings or other broken beaded jewelry, please do!)

At Shoes On A Shoestring, I walked around with three pairs of shoes in my basket. Now, I truly need shoes. Buying a pair of shoes would not be wild abandon. The problem is, I don't really like shoes. I found myself unwilling to use my weekend money on something that I really don't like. Just make sure I don't ever take my shoes off in your presence unless you have a serious head cold and have lost the sense of smell. I left Shoes On A Shoestring empty handed and basically morose.

I LOVE TJ Maxx! I love it because it has all sorts of happy crap that I like to surround myself with - cute MUFFLERS, pretty plus size tops, purses, soft bedding, various dinner plates for my collection, smell good stuff, jewelry, lots of brown and pink and lime green stuff...... I wandered around, tried on two tops, then carelessly left them in the wrong department. (I am a department store employee's nightmare.) Again, I just didn't want anything bad enough to spend my weekend money.

Now, if I had been using my credit/debit card, I would have spent with wild abandon because............well.......its not really money. Right? No?

So, I did good with my budget (thanks, Barb!) but I was still left with the feeling of unfulfillment. I still had a need to feel the sense of wild abandon.

That left dinner. We went to my favorite restaurant. In honor of my diet, I told the waiter that I was allergic to corn so I'd like my own bowl of salsa with a spoon. I SHARED a chicken and bean burrito with Nina. I did good on food. No wild abandon.

But I also SHARED a PITCHER of margaritas with Elisa. Here's where the pressure valve got released. A pitcher is a big thing. My cheeks got numb. I felt happy. I FELT WILD ABANDON.

This is a danger zone for me. There's way too much alcoholism in my family for me to identify drinking as a safe outlet for wild abandon. Every once in a while is OK, but it's not all right for drinking to be my new wild abandon outlet since I'm trying to control my eating and spending.

Reason #1: Drinking and CONSCIOUS EATING don't go together because drinking is consuming calories. (Well, not in Jennyland, but in real life.)
Reason #2: Drinking and CONSCIOUS SPENDING don't go together because drinking is spending money. (Again, not in Jennyland, but in real life.)
Reason #3: My family history!!!! Many of my relatives have already tried using alcohol with wild abandon and IT DIDN'T WORK!

I need to start being a slob again and let my car and house get trashed and be my outlet for wild abandon. But that's just not as much fun.

I'm going to look at my need for wild abandon closely and try to develop some new outlets for it. Can I develop a feeling of wild abandon from walking? Can I develop a feeling of wild abandon from volunteering? Can I develop a feeling of wild abandon from blogging? Can I develop a feeling of wild abandon from learning crafts?

If all else fails, I can go stand in the street and dodge cars.

To be continued................ (when I figure it out)............


  1. Jen-this articulates what MANY of us are feeling! You know what I've been going through so I can soooo relate to this.
    So....I'm headed out to play in the street....I love you!

  2. How about wild abandon exercising. You are kicking my butt on motivation and go power.

  3. I have recently tried buying and wearing absurdly pattern knee high socks and cheap silk scarves for this purpose. You could try that. :)