It’s amazing how easy it is to go through life without having enough FUN.
I have a lot of fun, usually, but also find myself occasionally wondering what happened to the carefree nature of life. Days when I’m tired, stressed, and “fun” activities become obligation.
Tonight was one of those nights. I’d paid to go to a GrubWithUs—hadn’t been to one in a long time and I love them—but it ended up being a little stressful. Work is crazy, I’m flying to San Diego tomorrow night, and I had to get to Pac Heights at a decent time. Once I found myself in Chinatown waiting for the 1 California bus, two passed me and didn’t stop because they were full. I was stressed, miserably cold, freaking out about being late, wondering how I’d get to the restaurant and then…
I realized that NO ONE WAS MAKING ME DO THIS.
Instead I walked up to Powell Street and hopped on the cable car back down to Market, enjoying the wind in my hair and one of my favorite SF traditions on a peaceful night. I walked into Forever 21 and bought a super cheap, sexy dress and $3 turquoise feather earrings because I could. I finally bought the Street Smart newspaper from a homeless person, hopped on the bus, bought a 7-pound bag of ice for $2.75 just so I could have one icy cocktail, mixed it up when I got home along with a bowl of pasta. For dessert, I ate an entire king-size chocolate bar without caring about how many miles I should run tomorrow morning to burn it off.
And I realized: I can do this. Whenever I want.
Not saying that eating a whole chocolate bar or being buzzed off of a gin and tonic on a Monday night is the key to life, but I realized that I’m constantly obeying rules for myself without even realizing it.
- I have to be working all the time.
- I always have to be checking my email.
- I have to run all the time or be feeling guilty about not running.
- I need to eat healthy and punish myself when I don’t.
- I shouldn’t eat the chocolate. I shouldn’t have the cocktail.
- I have to follow through on every. single. obligation. regardless of how important it actually is or how I am feeling in my mind, body, and spirit.
- I should be doing something more productive right now.
- I should lose 5 pounds to be sexier and skinnier. I should feel bad about my body until I do so.
- I need to constantly project a certain image.
- I have to obey one million ideas that no one’s forcing me to do.
Well I’m done with this. I’m ready to spend more time being selfish. I’m ready to spend more time doing things that make me feel good. Because I’m awesome. I’m done doing everything for everyone else and I’m going to focus on me and what makes me happy, whether that’s running 7 miles before 7 or not waking up til 11 or eating a fresh salad or the entire chocolate bar or going to bed at 9PM or 3AM or going out and not having a drink or going out and having several or taking an extended lunch break because we all know I get my work done or working through the whole day so I can turn my computer off at 5PM and not touch it til the next morning. I’m going to spend my time how I WANT to spend my time, whether that’s out with a bunch of friends or home drinking cocoa in my jammies or waking up early to exercise or deciding that in no way I’m going to exercise today or prioritizing happiness and pleasure. Because I’m awesome.
I’m done hanging out with friends when it feels like a chore.
I’m done sitting home alone when it feels like a prison.
I’m done thinking of what others expect before I think about what truly makes me happy.
Lord knows I keep healthy. Lord knows I’m good at my job. Lord knows I’m dedicated. That’s not the question. The question is how much joy I take out of the small moments.
I’m resolving to be more hedonistic in the small moments.
- I’ll get off the bus a stop early to get hot chocolate for less than $2.
- I’ll walk the long way back to the bus after work to think.
- I’ll eat the chocolate or the ice cream or the fried chicken.
- I’ll waste time doing something that feels like anything but a waste.
- I’ll look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I’m gorgeous. I’ll have a dance party with myself and not care who is watching.
- I’ll flirt with whoever I want, be it the guy on the bus or at the store or anywhere else, just because it’s fun.
- I’ll stop trying to apologize for the fact that I am sexy yet strong, smart and sweet and a whole ball of sass rolled into one.
- I’ll stop trying to live up to other’s expectations and set my own.
Because I’m awesome. And I deserve it. And so do you.
Why do we as women put so much pressure on ourselves, in work, in relationships, at home, in life? Why do we feel like taking time for ourselves is selfish or lazy or unproductive? It’s not. If we all were a little more selfish with our time, if we were all a bit better at saying NO, at expressing how we ACTUALLY feel instead of convincing ourselves that we’re overreacting, at eating the chocolate, at dumping the dude who makes you feel bad about yourself, at hiring that babysitter or house cleaner or pickup/delivery laundry service or whatever small thing to make our life easier, the entire world would be a better place.
There’s a place for selfless sacrifice in every day. But there’s also a time to stop caring about who thinks what and what you should be doing and concentrate on what you want to be doing so that YOU feel fulfilled, refreshed and more energetic and happy than ever and can apply that to every area of your life. I’m doing that… because I can.
(PS, if you’re ever in need of a pick me up, listen to the Dollyrots’ song Because I’m Awesome while singing along in your jammies. It’s a guaranteed mood booster. It might even prompt an inane blog post about your self-appointed awesomeness.)