Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gold Stars for Grown-ups

I didn't go back to WTMD today.
I didn't make it to Red Cross, either.
 Instead i did laundry and sorted through storage boxes in the sun room. As i was moving box #563 it occured to me that being an adult kinda blows.
I mean, kids get gold stars in school and rewards for good grades. Sometimes you'd get extra allowance for taking on more chores. I remember George saying on her blog that Gaz earned her first Barbie by conquering potty training. Little kids even get prizes in their cereal.
Where are my gold stars?
Where are my prizes, people?
Adults are expected to do everything right all the time just because they are suppose to. We work our jobs and serve our communities and care for our families and maintain our homes because that is what you do in civilized society.
Now i know some people would say that being an adult gives you the right to buy whatever you want, whenever you want. Perhaps it is the deeply ingrained Protestant work ethic speaking, but buying myself something cool just because i want it seems pretty indulgent. Plus, you have to HAVE the money to buy stuff, right? In my monthly budget i give myself a personal allowance for movies or jewelry or gummi worms or what have you, but trust me, it is a small amount that i consider to be preventative maintenance for my mental health.
What i am talking about here is something you have to earn, something that is a reward for doing the things you might not really want to do. I'm not talking about things you do to be a functioning human like being sure your socks match, making your bed or flossing and i'm not talking about the things you do to be a better person like writing your grandparents, tipping the pizza man or donating at the Red Cross.
No, i'm talking about getting up early to do crunches every fricking morning before you get in the shower or remembering to bring the recycling home from work so that it doesn't barricade your desk or swiffering under the bed to get the ginormous dust bunnies instead of just cleaning the floor around the bed.
Well sometimes i don't feel like taking the trash out.
Sometimes i want to just throw away my yogurt containers instead of rinsing them for recycling.
Sometimes i want to tell civilized society to bite me.
That's right society; i'm talking to you - bite me!
But of course, i wouldn't really do that.
That is not the Niki way.
So i have hit upon the solution : gold stars for grown-ups. Not actual gold stars, mind you; i like gold stars as much as i like glitter ponies, but i am talking about something a bit more substantial. Over the summer i got massages on a pretty regular basis as part of my life reset/ stress detox regiment. But now that i am back in my real life there is little time and even littler funds for such extravagances. It is the perfect carrot to dangle on a stick in front of my inner 6-year old. I have devised a reward system that allows me a massage for every 150 points earned. I wanted the system to be reasonable and attainable, but not ridiculously easy, so it should take between 6 weeks and 2 months to reach the goal. That is enough time to save the money for the massage and really have to work at the goal, but not so long that i get disheartened.
This is totally doable.
It is important to do the right thing because it IS the right thing, but sometimes you gotta reward yourself a little, too. Now i just need to find a gold star goal widget for the blog. I'm off to sort, shred and recycle junk mail, people. (worth one point)


Douglas said...

Baby, YOU are my gold star:)

Niki said...