Gretchen Rubin

Sometimes a Treat Doesn’t Look Like a Treat.

Sometimes a Treat Doesn’t Look Like a Treat.

I embrace treats but I'm also very wary of treats. Treats help us feel energized, appreciated, and enthusiastic--but very often, the things we choose as “treats” aren’t good for us. The pleasure lasts a minute, but then feelings of guilt, loss of control, and other negative consequences just deepen the lousiness of the day. An extra glass of wine, an extra brownie, an impulse purchase...

As I've thought more about treats, and tried to lengthen my list of healthy treats, I've been surprised to realize that many treats don't look like treats.

Someone was telling me the other day that she loves to do laundry. Go figure. Someone else told me that he loves to make travel arrangements.

It dawned on me yesterday that one of my unconventional treats is clearing clutter. Some kind of clutter is difficult--letting go of things with sentimental value, sifting through papers--but some clutter I find very refreshing to clear.

I found myself looking forward to tackling an overlooked closet. What fun to toss, recycle, give away, and see some open space emerge from that crowded closet. I could hardly wait to get in there.

Again, I realize the importance of the Fifth Splendid Truth about happiness: I can build a happy life only on the foundation of my own nature. Which means that I must recognize the truth about myself. Be Gretchen! And go clear some closets.

How about you? Do you have any treats that most people wouldn't consider a treat?

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