Anyone who is a fan of the television program Parks & Rec understands the glory behind the phrase: Treat. Yo. Self. (And if perchance you are NOT a fan of Parks & Rec I highly recommend some Netflix binge-watching. Trust.)
As indicated by my blog description I am 37, single and just shy of a crazy cat lady, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that at this particular junction in life I’ve found myself struggling a bit with who I am, what I am, where I’m going, etc. I’ve spent the majority of my adulthood in a rather passive role and am now opening my eyes to the fact that passivity does not lead to contentment. In short, I do believe I’m going through the infamous mid-life crisis. The past six months have been a challenge for me personally (stupid love life) and now professionally (stupid work life) and frankly I just feel a bit lost. Okay, a lot lost. I feel engulfed by setbacks and while I need to hit reset in several areas, I’m afraid. I hear setback and I think failure.
A couple of weeks ago I was feeling especially down about life in general and over drinks at a happy hour was telling a friend that I just keep reminding myself of arrows. Before an arrow can fulfill its purpose, can launch forward and hit its target, it must first be pulled back. My mantra has become “Be the Arrow”. I remind myself that setbacks can be good and necessary, it’s how we face them and what we turn them into that ultimately counts. As I shared this new found focus, and feeling a bit buzzed, I brazenly announced I was going to get an arrow tattoo to help remind me of this ‘AHA’ moment. Without hesitation my friend looked up at me and said “I’m in. Let’s do it. When?” Um. Like for realsies?
The next morning I got a text from my friend inviting me to get foot massages and go to brunch. While I’d planned on wallowing in self-pity all day (see text) something inside me said – ‘Do it. You’re sad, you’re lonely, you’ve been needing someone to reach out and notice you, well this is it. This is someone doing that. Someone trying to be a friend and get you out of your own head. Do. It.’ So I did.
Foot massages turned into us sharing a full body massage – POINT OF CLARIFICATION- by “sharing a full body massage” I mean they didn’t have any openings for foot massages, only one opening for an hour full body massage and offered to let us split the time and share the masseuse. So, I took the first 30 minutes and he took the next 30. Afterward we decided sharing a masseuse likely pushed us into ‘Eskimo Brother’ status. (If you don’t know what an Eskimo Brother is, click here. Please note we are applying a rather lose interpretation of the term with our scenario.) You know it’s a good start to the day when you get, what ended up being, a rather enthusiastic ass rub in a back alley massage parlor and leave with a new found Eskimo Bro. Already the day was turning out better than wallowing in my pjs on the couch watching Netflix. (Though admittedly that’s kinda nice sometimes too.)
Following our massages another friend joined us for brunch. Our group was growing and to begin our meal we indulged in the Bloody Mary bar, margaritas, donuts and chips & salsa THEN we ordered our food. From that moment on it was clear that we had a very special day on our hands. A full-fledged, make Tom & Donna proud, Treat Yo Self day.
Next stop – a cutesy shop for him to get a hat he’d been wanting and me to buy fancy soap and a new green shirt for St. Patty’s Day (#NeverNotCelebrating). Treat. Yo. Self.
After that, the rug store that our newly joined friend had always wanted to check out. Treat. Yo. Self.
Once we had a few extravagances under our belts the big guns came out.
“So, you want to go get those arrow tattoos?”
TREAT. YO. SELF.
The day continued much in that manner. There was a vintage dress shop, Mystery beers from the vending machine at Hi-Dive Lounge, etc. But my favorite part of the day was getting the tattoos. Not over-thinking it. Not over-planning it. Just going. Just doing it. Now every time I look down at my arm I’m not only reminded that these set-backs are not only temporary and necessary, but also I’m reminded that people will notice you need them if you give them the chance, they’ll care if you let them, and most importantly – no matter how alone you feel, no matter how bleak the outlook or how beat up you’ve allowed yourself to get – you are in charge of you. Treat. Yo. Self.