my friend r was having a rough day on friday. she got off of work at 5, and wanted, she thought, to go home and take a nap.
"no," she thought. "i am not going to go home and take a nap. that is the beginning of a descent into a night of self-pity watching bad television and eating greasy chicken wings."
so, she decided to make that night her Being Good to Myself Night.
i love that.
she got her nails done. she had a glass of wine at the wine bar in her Brooklyn 'hood. she flirted with the French waiter. she ate a healthy dinner. she got a good night's sleep.
she said she realized that "being good to myself doesn't look like going out for happy hour drinks every friday and getting wasted. being good to myself doesn't look like eating a plate of hot wings. and it doesn't necessarily look like a trip to the gym or a yoga class."
being good to ourselves is going to differ day to day. it's about listening to our bodies, our hearts, and our heads, then making the best decision based on what they need at that very moment. not what you needed yesterday, or what you'll need tomorrow, or what you should have gotten from your parents when you were three, but right now. maintenant. (and if one of them is asking for something completely ridiculous, like your heart is shouting "right now, it might feel really good to toss yourself out the window, and see if you'll sprout fairy wings so you can fly away from this shithole," your head and body will stop you.)
i find i treat myself best when think of myself as my own mother. i don't mean i'm acting as my actual mother, Homecoming Queen Janie Horsfall Laskey (i've tried that, doesn't work), but as my own internal mother, as if i were mothering myself as i would my own child. it sounds sort of woo-woo, but it's pretty amazing how it informs your choices when you think of it in those terms. a mother does what is best for a child, not necessarily what the child wants in order to feel good pronto, but what is best for the little tyke in the long run. a mother disciplines, but loves unconditionally. she knows when to push you to that hot yoga class, onto that stupid blind date you'd rather cancel, out of your south Georgia comfort zone and into the chaos that is New York City, but she also knows when what you really need is just a bowl of mac 'n' cheese and a Jane Austen novel.
and chocolate, of course.