1: to commit (money) in order to earn a financial return
I have often shied away from investing in classes. My excuse is often financial and there’s definitely truth in that, but I’ve realized there are deeper, more sinister reasons behind my refusal to lay down hard, cold plastic for all the answers in one place.
In part, unless the class is so wildly expensive that I can’t reasonably purchase it (see reason A, above), I figure why make it easy on myself? I’ve harbored suspicions that a “cheap” class means that the amount and quality of the information is less. The knowledge handed to me on a platter isn’t nearly so valuable as the knowledge I have to go digging out of the cracks and crevices of Google with my fingernails, obviously.
There’s also the fact that I’m a recovering perfectionist. I expect(ed) near-perfection from myself, and I expect products I purchase to also be quality. I’ve worried that classes won’t live up to my expectations and I’ll suffer a case of severe buyer’s remorse. But these are the easy reasons to explain.
2: to make use of for future benefits or advantages <invested her time wisely>
For years, I’ve labored under the misunderstanding that “investing in yourself” is a purely financial gesture. I’m not sure why I came to that conclusion – perhaps because the very first definition of “invest” involves monetary outlay. But I’m realizing there is so much more meaning to invest.
Invest in time to soothe your soul, invest in time to learn a skill that brings you joy, invest in filling yourself with joy. It does not have to be monetary. Simply invest in a deep breath to get yourself through the next five minutes with your children. Store up moments to pinwheel through a gray day, bank sleep for those long, sleepless nights. Take advantage of the weekend’s alone time to see you through yet another crazy week. Plant seeds for fruit in the summer and fall.
Invest. Imbue. Imbibe deeply.
3: to involve or engage especially emotionally <were deeply invested in their children’s lives>
As mothers (as parents) – hell – to be seen as productive, conforming members of society – valuing, investing in our own emotional health and well-being can be seen as a waste of time and unnecessary. I think we know, somewhere deep within ourselves, that this isn’t the truth.
This past month, I started investing in myself with some business classes, by prioritizing some of my goals, and protecting my creative time. I’ve been waking up early to write, and staying up late to work on classwork. I admit that currently I’m exhausted and I know this isn’t sustainable forever. (It only has to be until the end of October.) Two classes in addition to minimally maintaining my usual endeavors and regular household stuff is a bit much. It’s just how the chips fell. But I’m fiercely proud of myself for maintaining momentum, for learning… for digging in and working hard for my goals and dreams. Two more weeks and the winds will shift, but the lesson should not be unlearned.
(I find “invest” to be a loaded, nuanced word, and I’d love to know your thoughts about it. And if you have any projects underway where you’re investing in yourself, please share!)