I have been thinking about the idea of 'guilty pleasures' lately.
It seems to be this kind of phrase that we roll out for all sorts of things these days - not just food or drink, but books, tv shows and movies, even general activities.
And I've realised that I just don't really buy into it.
I don't feel guilty when I am seeking some sort of specific pleasure. I don't get angry at myself for eating a donut if it's what I really felt like eating. I feel bad for wanting to read some romance books that aren't considered 'great literature'. And I certainly don't generate negativity towards myself when I watch kids tv shows, or perhaps something a little less mind-working like Midsomer Murders or Charmed or Friends.
I tend to decide that, if I am going to enjoy something, then I go ahead and enjoy it, and give myself the freedom of not feeling bad about it later.
Now, let me get this thing out of the way here. Yes, I am unemployed and spend almost all of my time at home (due to illness, but that's beside the point at the moment). Yes, despite being sick a lot of the time and not exercising much at all, I haven't really put on any weight since about 2008 (my metabolism still seems to be working!) and I tend to manage to stay slim despite the overwhelming odds against my doing so. Yes yes yes I acknowledge all of that. But I could still feel guilty for these things if I decided to put that on myself - if I decided to listen to other people more than that inner voice that says 'it would really help me relax if I could do this' or 'I don't know why but I'm really craving this sweet treat'.
There is a line with these things - emotional eating tends to be one of those lines, and procrastination is another (though both kind of have their place). I enjoy these pleasures when I am able to, and I watch my reaction to them. Because when they stop being pleasurable, and start feeling heavy and not as nice anymore, that's when I know I have turned to these pleasures out of a need to avoid something that needs dealing with.
What I'm saying in a very roundabout way here is: are your 'guilty' pleasures really worth so much negativity? Or can they be 'guiltless' pleasures, enjoyed in the moment, without fear of your own inner nagger later? Just a thought.