Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Some thoughts on treats

So, you all know that I read Gretchen Rubin's blog, The Happiness Project, but she also writes a monthly column for Good Housekeeping. For some reason, we have a two-year subscription to Good Housekeeping. I think it was one of those perplexing deals where we'd lose all of our airline miles, OR we could get a magazine subscription for 100 miles and keep the rest.

Anyway, we get it every month. The September 2012's column by Gretchen Rubin was about small treats. She says small treats are great for when you need a "shot of energy and enthusiasm." She's made a list of small, inexpensive treats, like "treating" herself to a spray of perfume.

Rubin also says "when we feel depleted and drained, and when we have no time or energy left to devote to little activities that give us pleasure, we start to feel exhausted, resentful, and angry." This is how I've been feeling a lot lately. I've been feeling so angry that this is my life. I don't even have a bad life. But lately, it's been feeling like I've been working so hard for things I don't even want. I don't want to spend an hour every day cleaning up my house. I mean, doesn't that seem like an awful lot of time for a house with two basically neat and tidy people? I don't want to pack a gym bag or a lunch every day. I mean, I want to go to the gym, and I want to eat, but I don't want it to feel like such a chore. In fact, I don't want it to feel like anything. I want it to be like, fra la la I'm packing a gym bag, as I skip around my house sprinkling daisy petals. And there will be sparkles.

I've thought about trying to become one of those people who always has a ton of gym clothes in their gym bag (more accurately, I've thought about putting five sets of gym clothes in my bag on Sunday night and then not dealing with it again for the rest of the week). That's beginning to look more and more like a solution, actually. It seems like a lot of lugging stuff around unnecessarily  but by the end of the week, I'll be all, I'm so strong--look at how light my bag is now!

Rubin cautions that in order for something to feel like a treat, you can't use it too often. I've set up a series of rewards for meeting my weight-loss goals, but that's not quite the same thing as treats. I'd consider my cup of hot chocolate at night a treat, but I have one almost every night. Most of the time, I really, really enjoy it. The rest of the time, I usually assign my lack of satisfaction to an imbalance in the ingredients.

Last night, I gave myself the treat of doing nothing. Which, of course, is not entirely true. I did a lot of things. But I didn't clean up the house. Instead, I sat on the sofa and read. It was such an unbelievable treat to come home and sit down in my living room and read.

Of course, that also means that when I got up this morning I had a bunch of stuff left to do from yesterday that I had to get done before going to work. Which sort of puts me already behind for today, although in a kind of planned an intentional sort of way.

I think treats are a great idea, but what I'd really like is to get to a point where I don't dread getting up in the morning or coming home at night because of all of the stuff I still have to do. I guess, until I figure that out, treats are going to have to be enough.

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