I receive a twice yearly stipend at my job. It amounts to almost a month’s pay (or at least almost what I bring home after I dump a ton into my retirement). In the past we have taken this nice chunk and bought flooring (our swiftlock plus from last summer which we still adore), tiled the living room, and bought a sofa and love seat. Oftentimes it also picks up the slack for bills. I have been eagerly awaiting this chunk this time around dreaming of new ceiling fans, moulding for our cabinets, perhaps countertop, or a gently used dining room or bedroom suit from craigslist. Most of my dreams are to improve our home. I don’t feel able to spend this money on myself – I mean solely on myself. This becomes burdensome at times because when Dave falls into money, he has no trouble spending it on himself. He just ordered a Nikon 85 mm lens today with a commendation award from his job. So I get bitter and stew. It isn’t that I resent the purchase so much as I envy the ability to treat one’s self sans the guilt. I have not mastered this. It is not that I want to spend the whole thing – that would be reckless and we do indeed have places that it needs to go. It is just another area of my life where I feel completely unworthy. And truly it is quite the paradox because surely I don’t deserve to casually spend this money. It also brings me face to face with the knowledge that I have no idea WHAT to spend any of it on. So here I sit, and in our home it will be quickly be absorbed.