Everyday presents a series of choices, some more conscious than others. In every moment we are given the opportunity to choose what to do with our time. How often do you choose pleasure?
It seems we are taught that the only productive use of time is to attend to our never-ending list of responsibilities and obligations. That certainly is a valuable use of time, especially if you enjoy your work, but what about fun just for the sake of fun?
It’s been a pattern of mine to for some time now, that as soon as space opens up in my schedule, my first thought is, “What can I accomplish?” I realize now that is simply a habit I’ve developed, an automated response to free time, and the more I become aware of it, as well as the value of pleasure for pleasure’s sake, the more I learn to shift this mentality.
Saturday is normally one of my busiest client days of the week. Yet this Saturday all my regulars were out of town and I realized the Friday before that the whole day was open. My mind instantly jumped to my work to-do list and all I could achieve in those “free” hours. Then I remembered an exhibit at The Getty that a friend of mine and I intended to see together. Rather than putting it off, again, I texted him right away to make a plan to meet.
Fun for the sake of fun, pleasure for the sake of pleasure, often gets pushed to the lowest rung of our priority ladder.
The problem with this approach to life is that it drains you of your energy, your inspiration, and your creativity. You also miss out on a lot of cool cultural events going on around you. As humans, especially as women, we are fueled by pleasure. It gives us an extra pep in our step, calms anxiety, and allows us to approach work and relationships with greater joy and ease.
Of course no work and only pleasure leads to stagnation, but that’s hardly an issue for most adult women. But only work and no pleasure also leads to stagnation!
I believe your ability to receive pleasure from the day-to-day is directly related to your ability to prioritize pleasurable activities in your life.
I ended up spending five leisurely hours at The Getty that day, taking in an exhibit on Yvonne Rainer’s dances and films, enjoying the gorgeous garden, and having great conversation over a delicious lunch on the patio. I felt calm, nurtured, and energized by the day, and of course, inspired to write this article. What could be a better use of my free Saturday?
Take action now:
1) Take a look at your calendar, notice where there’s a gap (and if there isn’t one, make one) and schedule something that you have been wanting to do but keep putting off. Perhaps a trip to an art gallery, or lunch and a movie with a friend, or a wild night of dancing? Then share in the comments below your pleasure plan.
2) Share this article with one fabulous woman in your life that could use an infusion of fun! If you are not already a subscriber to Wellness Wednesdays, click HERE.