I made it through a 5-day Ayurvedic cleanse which ended on Tuesday. I’d thoroughly prepared my cupboards (still under renovation) and plastic-coated my countertops (plywood stand-ins for my eventual Caesarstone ones), then gave myself over to a period of reflection and abstinence from Friday to Tuesday.

When I told my friend, also participating in this fall solstice ritual, that I’d scheduled my first swim in six months for Wednesday at my re-opened health club, a museum visit on Friday and my first facial in six months on Saturday, she reflected, “You’re lining up your pleasures.” I smiled.

She shared how her daughter, as a young child, would gather up a sweet treat, and a stuffed animal before snuggling close to her mother for a bedtime story. “She would line up her pleasures. That’s what you’re doing.”

I do make a habit of arranging rewards for myself after challenging projects. Something to look forward to when I’m in the middle and feeling despair. Besides the ‘why’ of what I’m doing, I believe in external motivation as well.

During the height of the quarantine, those pleasures were few and far between. Now that things have opened up a bit, I hope that you’re also giving yourself treats, even if it’s simply for getting through this difficult time.

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