Thursday, March 17, 2016

Guilty Pleasure and Escapism

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What a laugh!
I have been working on this blog post today when, to my delight, my best friend was working on her own blog post entitled Guilty Pleasures - Loving Ourselves. She posted on her blog This Time, This Moment about an hour ago...just as I was shutting down for awhile. I just reopened my blog and started looking at the segment on the left side of the blog entitled Blogs I Read When I Can and I saw Lara's post...made me laugh and made my day! 
What a pleasure!

You've heard the phrase Guilty Pleasure; perhaps you have used this phrase yourself. This afternoon I've been thinking about a conversation with a friend yesterday that has really stuck with me. A conversation about guilty pleasures.

Growing up in my family, in my efforts to please my parents and others, I often pretended to dislike things that I actually liked and to like things that didn't appeal to me. Why would I do this? Just for a bit of parental approval, I guess. I was very swayed by the opinion of others. But, as it happens, I must have convinced myself of these long-standing falsehoods too because into adulthood I've spent years rediscovering myself, rediscovering things that do indeed bring me pleasure. I acknowledge that, in fact, I find it difficult to label a thing as pleasurable.

I do know where the guilty part of guilty pleasures comes. Many strange messages spin around in my head and make it difficult to always understand where I stand on things. If not for my oddly dysfunctional family of origin and from the church, I might not struggle with such prisons of the mind. Even to this day I still have moments where I am able to free my mind of still-entrenched and hidden shackles. Shackles of the mind.

Romance movies watched repeatedly
While my dear friend and I were talking yesterday, one of the revelations that came to me in a moment of our conversation was a thing that has been stewing in my mind for decades:  the idea of escapism. When reading a great book, performing intricate hobbies, watching enchanting film, we often say that we are participating in such activities for reasons of escape. Escape from the drudgery of life, I assume, escape from boredom. Maybe escape to things too:  to felicity, to enjoyment, to bliss. I hadn't thought of that before.

In my home way back, such an idea as escaping from reality was harshly judged. I would never have admitted to such a sentiment as escapism. But while my friend and I were talking we began considering this idea and how absurd it is to avoid the pleasures of escapism and of guilty pleasures.

Why oh why should pleasure be guilty?

And so I have decided to eschew guilty pleasure. From this moment forward there are only pleasure. Open, honest, delightful. I reclaim the idea of doing things simply for the purpose of self care, self interest, self, luxury. 

So in the name of loving myself, claiming my pleasures as things that I will no longer feel guilty for enjoying, naming it and claiming it against the past forces of falsehood, and to join my gorgeous friend in her list of pleasures, here are some of my favorite things. Here are things that I enjoy!
  • Carol Burnett
  • Favorite romance movies watched again and again
  • Perfume
  • Scented soaps
  • Cheap romance novels
  • Naps
  • Sumptuous bedding
  • Relaxing in the bath
  • Reading in bed
  • Clean teeth
  • Freshly washed bed sheets
  • Poetry read aloud
  • Young Matt Dillon
  • Aiden Turner
  • Beautiful house plants
  • Going barefoot
  • Travel
  • Barbra Streisand
  • Coming home
  • Beautiful serving dishes
  • Daydreaming
  • A pot of tea
  • Receiving a bouquet of flowers
  • Robert Plant
  • Gorgeous fabric
  • Giving gifts
  • Autumn days
  • Game shows
  • Doris Day
  • Going to the theater
  • Poptarts
  • Used book stores
  • The dance scenes in Brigadoon
  • Stay Gold Ponyboy
  • Fine pens
  • Lipstick
  • Quilts
  • Barbra Kingsolver
  • National Geographic
  • A beautiful library
  • Snow days
  • Thick towels
  • Staying up late, alone
  • Musicals
  • Colorful pillows
  • Rare beef
  • Obsessing over favorite entertainers
  • Hideous, warm sweat pants
  • Lilacs
  • Family heirlooms
  • The "Look back at me" scene in North and South
  • Body art
  • Researching new things
  • Bette Midler
  • Ladies night out
  • Sherlock
  • The quiet of snow
  • Eating out
  • Old photographs
  • Cheesecake
  • Driving aimlessly
  • Lazy afternoons
  • Foreign films
  • NOT watching sports
  • A cup of tea
  • Harry Potter
  • Old books
  • Beaches and sea shells
  • Baking in the sun
  • Eating outdoors
  • Cotton candy
  • Live music
  • Bohemian elegance 
  • Coloring books
  • A good British mini-series
  • Beautiful glass drinkware
  • Gorgeous tea cups
  • Bragging about my children
  • Looking at my children
  • Just being with my children
THERE! Reclaimed!


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