Reading The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom by Susan Hayes and working with the Super Awesome Ashley Wilhite have left me with the same major takeaway: I need to celebrate my successes before rushing on to my next task.
So I went through my goals for the next few months, purposefully writing them in chart form, with the column representing my reward taking up equal space as the task itself. It seemed overwhelming at first, like my to do list had doubled. But then I rearranged things.
One of those things is taking a bath. I am one of those weird people who does not enjoy baths, even when they are full of bubbles, salts, and other goodies. I probably inherited this reluctance to bathe in luxury from my mother, from whom I also inherited chronic shoulder pain.
So instead of making bath time a task, I turned it into a celebration for when I finish writing the week’s Letter from Jane Austen. At first it seemed silly to reward myself for completing the task, because I get so much joy from rereading Jane Austen, articulating the chapters in the context of modernity, and hitting send to deliver my little letters to my special list of heroines in training (it is never too late to sign up, by the way!). But bath time is a signal for my body to relax, and it is also an unintended pun: of course I would celebrate Jane Austen in BATH.
Reading in the tub is difficult with foggy glasses, and the heightened stress of soaking my book cancels out the benefits of relaxation, so I brought with me instead the London Style Guide, which is more for skimming than scrutiny. So I was being doubly productive – my reward for scheduling a visit to London was to start a list of things to do.
Here is another task that seemed like it hardly deserved celebration as it was quite exciting in itself, and yet, shockingly, getting myself even more excited was not only warranted, but enjoyable. Treating this time to plan in celebration made me enjoy its full pleasure rather than the inevitable, guilty binge Googling when I’m supposed to be writing my dissertation or something. Moreover, it made even bath time bearable and pleasant!
In this new series, Heroine at Home, I reflect on the joys of spending the day in one’s own abode.