I am a big fan of Parks and Recreation, the NBC comedy that ran from 2009 to 2015, featuring Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman and Chris Pratt before he was insanely buff. One of the recurring themes was a day when two characters, Tom and Donna, played lovingly by Aziz Ansari and Retta respectively, would treat themselves.
Thus a movement was born.
Once a year, they would live the extravagant lifestyles to which they aspired, embracing whims, eschewing budgets, and just living large for one day. But 2017, so the story goes, was to be the year of #TreatYoSelf. And here we are in 2017.
So how are we going to embrace our inner Donna and Tom? Simple! By making 2017 your year of more.
Before you bombard me with all your diet resolutions, weight loss goals and that fabulous dress you bought two sizes too small as incentive, eating more doesn’t have to be about eating more pizza. Let’s make it about eating more variety, eating more locally sourced produce, or eating together as a family more often. Then again, eating more pizza is definitely a viable option.
Drink more water, drink more smoothies, and best of all, take the time to go out more with your friends for drinks of any kind (though a margarita does sound good). Self-care more. And yes, we could all drink more coffee. I mean, we are sleep-deprived at best.
But don’t just read more pages. Read more diversely. Read more with your children. Read more about cultures, faiths and people who are different from you. Take the opportunity to read to expand your worldview instead of reading to confirm it. As the divisive election season has shown us, we all have work to do to understand and empathize with our fellow Americans and with the world.
This one is the easiest and the hardest. Love your family, your neighbors and your friends more. Find time to spend with one another and renew bonds purposefully. But I challenge you to also love those who perhaps don’t necessarily deserve it. The ones who have hurt you, disappointed you or let you down in some way. Love them enough to forgive them and let them go. Choose the love you want to foster and build the world you want for yourself.