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...And I want a new problem.

Okay, so here’s the thing… The other day my coworker was describing her plans for the weekend. When she came to her appointment at the local nail salon, her face lit up like a beacon with such unadulterated joy it warmed my cold, emo heart. Just kidding. But the excitement in her eyes was heartachingly endearing. And then she said something that has hung in my mind like a cloud of cherry ice flavored vape (seriously, I get the cherries, but what is ICE supposed to smell like?). She said that she used to smoke, but quit years back. She also used to partake in her fair share of spirits, but has since drastically reduced her alcohol consumption. Her ornately detailed fingertips are now her favorite indulgence. She went on to emphasize that everyone needs a little something to look forward to at the end of a long week.

I’ve been chewing on this like an everlasting gobstopper for the last week. I suffer from two impediments to her philosophy. Firstly, I am all too prone to get caught up in the fast-paced race of life. Between putting in my nine to five, attending college courses online, blogging for two separate blogs (three, if one counts my media reviews), and planning my upcoming wedding. And a social life? Cue maniacal laughter. By the end of the day I, like so many, want only to kick back in my recliner with whatever fast food I’m craving and turning on one of my many intense binge-worthy dramas. The chill in my “Netflix and chill” can often become a bit too literal. Weekends are just as bad, what with the laundry that’s breeding in its hive beside the washer, the dishes that end up in the sink even though I rarely have the time or energy to cook (just, how?), and the plethora of other tedious to-do list items. Spinning my wheels to no avail in the ruts of my routine, it’s easy to lose sight of what exactly I’m grinding for. All work and no play makes Caelyn a zombie.

Secondly, my anxiety dictates that I should feel guilty for not working harder. I should do more, accomplish more. If I just earned more money, I wouldn’t have to work as hard. If I put more effort into my own health care, I would have more energy. If I could just build the perfect life, I could finally slow down and enjoy it. No time for fun and games, gotta keep spinning the hamster wheel.

And you know what? I’m calling bullshit. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: It’s okay to enjoy your life RIGHT NOW. Of course, you probably don’t need me to tell you that. But we could all use a little affirmation here and there. That’s certainly the conclusion I came to shooting the breeze with my fellow employee recently. Sometimes we just need someone to look us in the eye and tell us “It’s okay. Do the thing. You deserve it.”

I’m not just talking about stuff that you should be doing that you happen to find enjoyable. I like yoga. But let’s be real, I mostly just want to fit into my old jeans and not be breathless climbing a staircase. Otherwise, you best believe I’m waking up half an hour later in the mornings. Do something that is impractical just because it makes you smile to think of it. So you know what did this week? I went shopping – even dragged along my fiancé, who proceeded to tease me while simultaneously helping me find the perfect shade of lip stain. He even wandered off and returned a moment later with the gaudiest, sparkliest blue nail polish I’ve ever seen in life and put it in the cart while I protested that I really shouldn’t buy any more. I bought everything I’d ever envied seeing on my friend’s social media feeds. Scene worthy eyeliner and mascara, four shades of lipstick… And I refused to err on the side of practicality. No blush pink or distinguished red for me. No, I unabashedly searched high and low for luscious purple, vibrant teal, and soulless black. It was such an uncharacteristically bold choice for me, I almost couldn’t find the courage to wear it to work. But I did, and I have never felt so confident. I turned a few heads and garnered a few comments, but not once did I bulk and pass it off as a once off experiment. I was the person I’d always wanted to be. And I’ve never loved anything more than that feeling.

We all just need to give ourselves a little break now and then. It’s the little things in life. Treasure those, always. So if that means indulging in something you don’t really need but would bring an incandescent smile to your face, here’s that little nudge you’ve been waiting for. Take care of yourselves, loves. You’re worth it.

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