Just in time for holiday stress and sweater weather, I’ve arrived in the season of the year (and my life) that doesn’t pause for any timeouts, doesn’t wait and ask if I’m okay, and certainly doesn’t stop when I threaten to give up.
On the inside of the millennial obsession with self-care, I’ve embraced the generation-wide encouragement to “treat myself” while keeping two feet planted firmly in the belief that the best things in life are free. I can always snuggle my tabby cat or take a walk at sunset when I’m feeling drained. I can also binge eat 16 oz of gourmet olives or style the most ornate outfit in my closet just to go to the bank. Splurges on a new outfit or a dry martini might just be covering up the hurt, but haven’t band-aids always made us feel like our wounds will heal just a little faster?
In a workplace where most of us are clocking into multiple jobs to make ends meet, bubble baths and mountain hikes aren’t exactly readily available to help us confront our demons. And often, neither are our closest companions. I can call every friend on my favorites list to avoid crying on my drive home, but eventually, the voice on the other end will hang up, and I’ll be left to sob-drive to The Head and the Heart. And you know what will make me feel better? A bouquet of flowers and a pound of goat cheese. These luxuries may not last forever like a therapeutic run or a long laugh with friends, but they do last long enough for me to blow my nose, take a deep breath, put one foot down in front of the next, and just keep going. Maybe I’m spoiling myself, or maybe I’m laying down a breadcrumb path of things to be happy about until I reach a day where I don’t need reasons anymore.