byNamrata SheshadriAug 09, 2015 #ThingsToDo 4 Likes
As part of the #notperfect series today, we're cutting loose and being bad once in a while. Trust us, it might just motivate you to be good.
Most religious texts contain the words “Thou shalt not” or “You must not”. Lifestyle blogs are filled with more “Don’t”s than “Do”s. And everyday there’s a new article or opinion piece on all you need to give up to live a healthy, happy, successful life.
Alright. Let’s go with that. Let’s basically say that we’re going to be more fulfilled people by denying ourselves the things that make us happy. That sentence doesn’t quite add up for me. What about you?
Of course, logic (and research) dictates that a little measure of sacrifice does elongate your life – your lungs will only thank you for retiring that cigarette pack; your liver will bless you for not consuming a bottle of scotch a day; and your wallet will be glad to be heavier if you toss the daily poker habit.
But I’m talking about this all-pervasive culture of self-denial masquerading as restraint. All or nothing. Whatever happened to moderation? Allowing yourself those little forbidden pleasures that make life sweeter? Case in point:
Unless you’re virulently diabetic, that little piece of cheesecake (or, okay, even not-so-little slice of double fudge chocolate cake) isn’t going to kill you. Life’s about balance. Enjoy the endorphins released by the chocolate – and later get an even bigger boost at the gym, if you feel guilty about sinning. Personally, I think if one has to sin, there isn’t a sweeter or more decadent way than devilry by dessert!
You’re a (presumably) responsible adult. You’ve got your life together. You live, like a lot of us, on a budget, and you’re very controlled. You know what? Allow yourself that one indulgence a week, or a month, and see how a humdrum routine automatically gets bestowed with a little dazzle. Craving that expensive bag? Give in, and adjust elsewhere for a couple of months. Dying to splurge on that perfect leather couch for your home? Think of it as a long-term investment if necessary. Make yourself happy, you deserve it.
You want to down 3 coffees in one go? In the mood for demolishing a six-pack of Coke? What about the bottles of wine in the cooler? No one’s preaching caffeine addiction, sugar overload, or alcoholism, but allow yourself that one vice in little doses on occasion. You alone know what your body needs and when, and if it needs a little pick-me-up in the morning, allow yourself that coffee with a smile. Had a rough day? Kick off those heels and pour yourself that glass of wine. You don’t need an entire bottle to unwind, but don’t beat yourself up over a glass or two of merlot.
Time seems to be the rarest commodity of all nowadays, and people seem to feel the most guilt in taking some time out for themselves. The world is only spinning faster and life is only getting harder for everyone out there. In this day and age, more than anything else, we need to make the time to rest, to eat, to breathe, to just be. If pampering oneself with a little alone time is considered a vice – I’m reporting to the 7th circle of Hell.
There will be people who say this attitude promotes a culture of indulgence and laziness and excess. To those people I say: learn moderation. It’s not about the everything and nothing, it’s not about go big or go home. This is for the people who can, and should, allow themselves pleasure in moderation. Exhibiting alcoholic tendencies? Reach for the fruit juice instead, or cut yourself off after 1 drink. Bit of a shopaholic? Set a limit on your credit card. Diabetic? Put down that Coke can and reach for a Diet Coke instead – maybe allow yourself the real deal as a treat once a month. But do allow yourself that treat. Life’s too short to live it unfulfilled.
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