Or right now, when the topic of this blog reminds me that maybe I don't treat myself often enough. Excuse my while I go dish out a big bowl of ice cream and slather it with massive amounts of chocolate sauce.
(Imagine slurping and noshing noises and sighs of piggy satisfaction.)
Okay, I'm back. While I was eating the ice cream, I got to thinking about what really feels decadent and self-indulgent to me. One of my favorite rewards is time with a book. Time that I've blocked out deliberately, when I don't feel pressured or preoccupied with other things I should be doing - like writing books for other people to read.
I recently had a pretty good excuse for self-indulgence: an operation on my jaw, which was really no fun at all. I felt like I deserved a treat just for surviving the seemingly eternal ride home from the surgery center in Denver. I made up my mind that I would take at least three days off to let myself recover. I wouldn't try to do anything productive. I wouldn't clean house, and the DH could take care of the dogs.
And I would read. And read, and read, all I wanted. Something totally different, too. No cowboys. No horses. Not even a romance! That way I wouldn't be comparing my own work as I read, or wondering if my love scenes were as hot as the ones that Cheryl Brooks lady writes, or if my humor was as laugh-out-loud funny as Carolyn Brown.
I read the first couple books in Elizabeth George's Thomas Lynley mystery series a few years ago and loved them. They're British mysteries, something I adore but rarely read because the style of whatever I'm reading tends to bleed over into my own writing and I can't have my cowboys talking like Scotland Yard inspectors or minor aristocracy.
So how did my self-indulgent three days go?: Well, on the first day, after reading about twenty brilliant pages of A Great Deliverance, I remembered that I had Ms. George's book on writing fiction, Write Away, in my office. So I snuck up there, breaking the first rule of indulgence by entering my work space, and flipped through it a little bit.
And then I brought it downstairs and read it cover to cover, interspersing it with long pulls at the first three books in the Lynley series. I enjoyed both tremendously. George is a really gifted writer and teacher, and reading about her process is fascinating. Her characters have amazing depth, and learning how she accomplishes that was fascinating.
So I'm a better writer now, but it's become obvious that I stink at self-indulgence.
Or do I? I love what I do all day - so maybe my life is actually one big self-indulgent festival of romance writing.
You don't have to resort to decadence when you do what you love for a living.
So if you could do anything - anything at all - how would you indulge yourself with a job you love? Chocolate sampler for Godiva? Dude ranch cowboy wrangler? Maserati test driver? Secret shopper at Neiman Marcus? Tell us your dream job!