Pay Day Ritual

My boss walked into my office on Friday afternoon and handed me my paycheck.

“Thank you for all you do,” he said.

My Word of the Year is Listen. My mantra is I am listening. I was listening. He didn’t just thank me. The sentence he spoke was also a directive, with Thank as a verb. A suggestion; thank myself. Thank you = go on, thank yourself.

He paid me. He thanked me. I should thank me. I should pay me.

Friday is Pay Day. Why am I not paying myself for all the work I did this week? Why am I not paying myself every week? And if I want to do so, how should I pay myself for all I do? Since my focus is freshly realigned to consider how I want to feel rather than what I want to have, what would be an appropriate form of currency?  What would I give me or do for me as a gesture of gratitude for my work?

Holy guacamole. Who puts herself on her gratitude list?

I took Saturday to think about it. I slept on it. I stewed in it.

Yes, I absolutely deserve my own gratitude. We all do. No, we absolutely need not wait to be thanked or recognized by others. I still consider it a miracle that I wake up every day with the desire to help the world heal. That I want to help the world be well. That I’m willing, eager, and enthusiastic about working for wellness. Starting with me. This is a big deal. It feels good and right. We spend enormous amounts of energy preoccupied with everything wrong about ourselves. What if we spent an equal amount celebrating everything right about us?

Especially right after the New Year? We are one week into the New Year and 25% of resolutions are already broken. Okay, so while we wallow in that, what did we ROCK this week? For every lash we inflict upon ourselves for our failures this week, what will we give ourselves for the opposite? Nothing? Really? NOTHING? Goodness, rightness, wellness, is worth NOTHING? Oh hell no. That sounds like nine different kinds of bullshit to me.

And speaking of bullshit, don’t hide behind humility here. You and I serve no one by pretending it doesn’t matter that you or I managed to be a decent person this week. Don’t dumb it down to questioning whether or not I/you/we deserve some kind of reward for not killing/robbing/raping this week. Take a look around at our new normal. We are too far gone for that. It absolutely IS remarkable to get through a day without hurting anyone. It is even MORE remarkable to get to the end of a day having managed to help someone. You are someone. I am someone. I say bring on Pay Day.

If not money or things bought with money, what should it be? Well let’s see, how do I want to feel? This week I want to feel vibrant, radiant, and luminous. I want to glow with happiness. I want to ooze light. Sparkle, glitter, shine with wellness. What would be an edifying gesture of thanks which helps me feel this way? You’re gonna laugh. No, really. You will.

Wavy hair.

Yes, seriously. Wavy hair. I can’t get curls without chemical intervention but I can get waves. A wavy coif makes me light up every time I catch sight of it. I glow with delight. I bounce. I flounce. I toss my head and lift my arms. I sashay with glee. I sway with joy. It’s a luxury. An indulgence. A feel-good boost. Most days I don’t take the time to do it. Can I pay myself in curls? Not exactly, but I can pay myself in waves. But how can I do it for free?

Old-school pin curls and wet hair. Yup, as in 1930s curls made with bobby pins. Like this:

This lovely model is not the lovely me.

Only I do it with tiny butterfly clips. The result is curls upon release of the clip but my angel hair is too fine and straight to hold a curl, so I get waves. And my delight meter redlines. I don’t even have to get a good reflection, all I have to do is see my shadow with waves. I gleam with rapture. It changes the way I feel, move, walk, respond. So why not pin curl every day? It’s time-consuming. I don’t always want to fuss with it.

But the proverbial today is not just any day. It’s a special occasion. It’s PAY DAY! (Okay, so it’s two days late, but would you rather have your pay late or not at all?) My first Pay Day in January is paid in pin curls. For the F-ing joy of it. Do you get that? I’m paying myself, thanking myself, compensating myself, with self-generated joy. How am I just thinking of this now? Work to pay bills or work for joy? D’uh.

2018; a new ritual for a new year. As I prep for the next work week, how will I pay myself for my wellness work (other than the obvious reward of wellness). How will I thank me for walking as well as I can in a world so unwell? What will I value? What will I honor and celebrate? What will matter so much I’ll pay myself to do it? What will be my currency?

— Mercy

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