MomTalk.com April 18, 2021:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more

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Do You Have a Pleasure Deficit?

By Jacquelyn B. Fletcher

Last Tuesday a series of things happened that made me realize I am experiencing a pleasure deficit. First, I had a lunch with some really groovy folks. Jocelyn Hale, the Executive Director of the Loft Literary Center, Dennis Cass, the author of the hilarious and fantastic book Head Case, and Pilar Gerasimo, Editor-in-Chief of Experience Life magazine. We were discussing an article in the December issue of Experience Life called A Real Pleasure in which the staff of the magazine describe how all the latest research in the fields of positive psychology, neurology, and psychoneuroimmunology show that pleasure is good for us. Yet, each of us at the table admitted to not taking proper care of ourselves by doing activities that really gave us joy. For instance, I absolutely love massages but I haven't booked one since before my daughter Eva was born. She's 8 months old.

Why? Because when I take breaks that are just for me, my Inner Critic starts beating me up: "You should be spending more time with your husband! How dare you get a massage when you should be playing with your baby! What are you doing taking a break from work? You don't want the bank to foreclose on your house, do you?! Have you seen the state of the kitchen? How could you live in such filth?! Cancel that massage you selfish cow, you have to clean the house!"

After my inspiring lunch appointment, I ended up at the eye doctor with what turned out to be a case of episcleritis. My left eye was all red and it hurt. Why? Because I'd been listening to the Inner Critic's messages and staring at the computer for too many hours in a row. You got it. I'd been working too hard, with too few breaks for fun.

The final straw was a voice message that same day from my friend and co-author Clare. She admitted she was totally exhausted. She's working two jobs and had to work through the Thanksgiving holiday without a break.

Enough! It's time we Smackdown our Inner Critics to take care of ourselves! Instead of letting the Inner Critic freak out on me and tell me I can't possibly get up from the desk since there is so much to do, today I'm going to flip it the bird. After a business phone call I must take at 10:30 a.m. CST, I am outta here! If you don't hear from me for the rest of the day, you'll know I am off visiting a flower shop and inhaling as deeply as I can. Or maybe I'll be tasting a cup of joe in my favorite coffee shop. Or perhaps I'll even book a massage for later this very day. The only errand I'll run is to buy myself a pair of reading glasses - promise!

So what will you do today, right this minute, to increase the joy and pleasurable experiences in your life?

Jacquelyn B. Fletcher is an award-winning author, personal development coach, mom, stepmother, and wife. Find more smackdowns for your inner critic at 101smackdowns.com.

Categories: Feature Stories, Just for me, Take Care of You,

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