According to Urban Dictionary (the bible of societal language), the definition of Treat Yourself is as follows:
To partake in an activity which, no matter how detrimental to your health, allows you to enjoy yourself as much as possible.
So, Treat Yourself. How do we feel about the concept? How often do we do it? Do we abuse it? I have questions. I have… to figure out the answers. I’m working on it.
I will tell you that I’ve discovered that there’s a big difference between when I claim to be treating myself and when I actually am treating myself.
-Maybe I’ve had a really rough day and at the end of it I want to drive to DQ for a delicious ice cream cone. Sure! TREAT YOURSELF!
But then sometimes I have a really rough several days and at the end of each of them, I definitely will still drive through for… an assortment of blizzards and fried cheese. Treat yourself?? That’s not a treat yourself. That’s definitely not a treat to your future self by any means.
But then sometimes I get bored or drunk and will go online shopping in the dark and a few days later a huge box of worthless junk from The Oriental Trading Company (no offense Oriental Trading Company) will show up on my doorstep. That is not a treat yourself. You have to figure out what you’re going to do with it… That’s, like paying someone to send you a box of chores.
So I’ve decided that I need to reign it in. I need some rules and some definitions for myself, here. There’s freedom in boundaries, right? So what makes something a legit treat yourself and what makes something an abuse of your future self?
I think obviously, number one has to do with frequency. If you’re getting ice cream every single night–I think it’s safe to say that’s no longer a treat it’s just your lifestyle. Which is fine–I’m not saying you can’t eat ice cream every single night. You do you, man! You do what ever it takes to get through the day. But it’s not exactly a treat if it’s an ever present commodity is all I’m saying.
Secondly, I think that we have to take into consideration the amount of sacrifice that either Future Self or Past Self will have to put in to “pay” for it. Think of it this way. Two people are involved here: Past Libby and Future Libby. And one of them will be buying and one of them will be paying. I hope this is making sense. Maybe it’s not. But I feel like if Past Libby is paying for the treat (that is to say, if Past Libby has been socking money away or has been working out a lot, or whatever) then it’s a real treat. If Future Libby is the one who’s making the sacrifices or paying? Well that doesn’t seem like a great idea. If Future Libby can’t make rent because Past Libby bought a leather jacket, well that’s not awesome. But if Past Libby saves money so that Future Libby can own a leather jacket… YAY!! I’m not saying this is always the case but it’s a good rule of thumb to say that Past Self needs to be the saver and Future Self should be the spender. This could get pretty meta real quick so I’m gonna stop right there because we are always both at the same time, whaaaat?!
Treats are important! They keep you going throughout your day, man. Shiny star-shaped stickers aren’t just for kids anymore! Sometimes life gets you down and you need just a little positive reinforcement! I’m just saying that we… maybe just I, actually, I’ll just speak for myself here. I’m just saying that I need a new definition of Treat Yourself and I need to find a way to make that a reality in a way that really is rewarding and not wasteful.
Here are my ideas for legitimate Treats:
-A nicer version of something that you keep on hand anyway. You know, buy the dishwashing soap that comes in the fancy bottle and has been scented with extravagant essential oils. Maybe go crazy and buy the super duper extra soft toilet paper this time? TREAT YOURSELF!
-Something that you have to work (not too hard) for. Have you had a really rough day and you don’t have it in you to make dinner tonight? Walk yourself down the few blocks to the Enchilada Deluxe Platter. TREAT YOURSELF!
-Find something that you’re really enjoying about the day. Treat yourself by recognizing the pre-existing treats in the world. Maybe on your lunch break go to the park and sit under the trees with red leaves? Maybe drive the long way through quieter neighborhoods rather than just jumping on all of the freeways. TREAT YOURSELF!
What are your rules for treating yourself? What are your favorite treats?