I love the holidays because I take time to do what I want to do – without remorse.
Ayn Rand said “The worst guilt is to accept an unearned guilt.” And yet we all do it. We feel bad when we take time away from our families and friends – for ourselves. We feel selfish and then compound it with feeling guilty about it.
The definition of selfish says it all: “devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.” The bolding is mine because the word regardless implies that being selfish puts others at risk. On the contrary, if we don’t take time to be selfish occasionally, our own welfare can suffer and others become more at risk, especially those who depend on us.
According to Claudia Black, “Saying no can be the ultimate self-care”. So on holidays, I take the time for self-care. No to the dishes – it doesn’t matter if they are done later, or tomorrow. No to elaborate meals – leftovers or simple grazing on cheese and crackers will do. No to fancy clothes and make-up – a hoody over my pajamas is more comfortable. No to my work – it can wait until next week.
Here are a few of the gifts that I gave to myself. Most of them took hours – the kind of time I rarely find or take for myself…
- Baking, baking, baking – all my family favourites: mincemeat slice, whipped shortbread and sour cream crescents (a cherished tradition).
- Decorating the house and doing crafts with the grandchildren (the world is a better place through the eyes of children).
- Sprawled across the dining room table with tea, cookies and the holiday crossword puzzle with its endless clues (more than 500).
- Tucked in bed in my Pjs reading a Nora Roberts romantic novel on my eReader (before the library expires yet another un-finished book).
- Cuddled under a blanket on the sofa watching Michael Buble’s Christmas special with a glass of red wine and a bowl of pomegranate chocolates (all health-foods, right?).
- Writing blogs (which I always put off because I classify them as “fun”, not work).
- Visiting the greenhouses in the Botanical Gardens to see the Noel Bonbon display (and escape the bitter cold wind outside).
- Sipping a cappuccino by the window as the snowflakes drift down from the heavens and cover the trees with glitter (how many centimeters an hour did they say that was?).
I love the holidays for the sparkling moments and the lazy hours. In “Goodbye to Guilt,” (Working Mother), Sally Shannon said: “Nagging guilt is like gray paint splashed over life’s sparkling moments.”
So do what you want and enjoy life’s sparkling moments during the holiday season and do it guiltless…
What “guiltless pleasures” did you indulge in during the holidays?