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A Year of Living Selfishly

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I don't believe in New Year’s resolutions.

I've certainly done them: when everyone else is drunk and cheering at the end of the countdown, I'm generally the quiet one at the party. I'll be tucked away in the corner cataloging the triumphs and failures of the year gone by. The end of the calendar year is arbitrary - it only matters because we say it does - but it's nice to find an effective way to delineate our lives. It gives me a space of time to sum up my achievements and plan for the future without feeling overwhelmed. For me, that's what New Year’s Eve is all about.

Perhaps it's because I'm reaching a certain age (I turned 30 this year, something of a milestone!) but I'm seeing a lot of self-questioning going on amongst my friends and clients. Is it the stage in our lives or is it what's going on in the world at the moment? I'm not sure. Last week I had a coffee date with a guy who told me that he had reached a point in his life where he was tired of putting other people first. He had realised that all of his time was spent doing things to benefit others: his family, his job, his household tasks. He couldn't remember how long it had been since he had done something only for himself. And so he had resolved that he will spend a year making time for his own personal development and enjoyment. He will be travelling, trying new sports. He will be having more sex (hence our coffee meet-up). He will be trying new foods, making new friends. In short, doing all those past-times that for years he had considered too 'selfish' to pursue.

Humans are social creatures. We're always thinking about where we fit in the hierarchy of family and peers. This interconnectedness has an evolutionary basis - it's called 'reciprocity'. It's the idea that if you do good things for others in the community, then those others will in turn support and aid you in times of need. Reciprocity is the basis for 'altruism': care and concern for others' well-being. Both are important for our society to function and for our own happiness and fulfillment. But let's not forget that we are talking about the 21st Century....the number of responsibilities and tasks we are expected to take on is hundreds of times more complex than those engaged in by our primitive ancestors. Forget 'hunt' and 'gather', it's more a case of 'clean', 'cook', 'get the kids to school', 'check emails', 'remember birthdays', 'pay bills', 'check the news', 'make the boss happy' and so on ad infinitum. It's a big job to keep everyone else in your life satisfied, but to fail is considered unacceptable.

We're not robots and the strain of juggling so many responsibilities takes a heavy toll. Stress-induced illness, mental illness, strained relationships with family and peers, and general unhappiness are so common that they're almost normal. Putting other people first is great in theory but in practice it's easy to overextend. Looking after oneself, or self-care, is important in staying at the top of our physical, emotional and mental and well-being.

My New Years' resolutions often take the form of cutting out the 'bad stuff' and replacing it with the 'hard stuff'; for example, giving up alcohol in favour of a diet or exercising more and giving up leisure time. The reason my resolutions don't last more than a few weeks is that my body and mind knows what it wants - and what it DOESN'T want is the stuff that's going to stress me out. While I believe health and hard work are important they don't form an effective self-care regimen without fun, stimulation and indulgence. To that end, here is this year's resolution: I want more of everything. More exercise and more vegetables, yes. More meditation and savings in the bank and more phoning my mother. But I also need more of the 'bad' stuff: chocolate, lazy days in bed, hot sex, new frocks and fun outings. More hedonism. More experimentation. I want to find a balance that lets me have as much fun as possible.

I've made a list of all the things I really want to experience this year and I'll be inviting my clients to join me. It's a departure from the normal way of doing things. Usually a booking is all about what my clients want to do, or see, or where they'd like to eat. I love planning experiences for people around the things they enjoy and that's not going to change. However for the guys who might like to do a bit of lady-pleasing, here is your opportunity: a very organised list of the things that will make me feel truly indulged this year:

Lingerie shopping outing
A trip to the lingerie store (Myer or Honey Birdette) to pick out a sexy little outfit, and then a trip back to your hotel room to try it out!
Duration: 3 hours. Discounted rate: $800 (Usually $1300)

'Dinner and Show' Date
I would love to see 'Book of Mormon', the musical. Dinner and show followed by some naughty fun afterwards.
Duration: 6-8 hours dinner date. Discounted rate: $1800 (Usually $2500)

Melbourne Tramcar Restaurant Dinner Date
A romantic dinner date on the Tramcar Restaurant with a sexy play session later.
Duration: 4 hours. Discounted Rate: $1200 (Usually $1800)

Weekend in Daylesford
Can you believe I've never been to Daylesford? Join me for a weekend of indulgence: cafes, hot springs, spa treatments and lots of sexytime.
Duration: two days with one overnight. Discounted rate: $4000 (Usually $6000)
So this is my year of living selfishly - putting myself first, in the knowledge that the people around me will only get my very best if I take the time to look after my own needs too. I hope you can join me!

If you'd like to participate, contact me via the form on my Scarlet Blue profile.

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