Last night I was drawing and the television was on at the background. I wasn't really paying attention to the programming, but at some point the show was cut to the commercials. I only listened.
The first ad was for a well known and well trusted Finnish company and brand. They were selling yogurt. The assuring voice explained how the product has the "same good taste" with less sugar. The voice told that one is "allowed to enjoy" this yogurt. The ad that followed was promoting cosmetics, a facial cream or something like that. Another assuring voice declared how it was "allowed to enjoy" ageing.
Allowed to enjoy. In opposite to not being allowed to enjoy?
Guilty pleasures are things you are not allowed to enjoy, but you enjoy them nevertheless. A snack which is not healthy, a television show which you find entertaining, music you blush to admit to listen.
I don't like the idea of a guilty pleasure. As if some pleasures were somehow better. Or as if feeling pleasure was something about which to be embarrassed. Enjoyment is not allowed.
Blogs are filled with posts telling you how to be more productive. Productivity tips by incredibly busy people. Awesome productivity tips which will improve your life. How to become the most productive person you know. Productivity advice given by successful entrepreneurs.
If you aren't productive you are not successful, you are a second class citizen. You make sure to tell that you were at work, when other's were on a vacation or when there was a workers' strike. Because you are a better person, being such a productive member of your society.
You won't stop to think to what end you are being productive. You are the worker bee, as you should. In the end you are allowed to enjoy, as a reward. Like this you keep going. Rewarded with enjoyment, like a sugar rush, producing to no end. Why you do this, it never really is the question.
This is what you do. You are the worker bee, the part of the machinery. You dream about the retirement, unless you croak before that.
Meanwhile, you are allowed to enjoy. As long as you have been productive, a good participant. And even when you are allowed to enjoy, they are guilty pleasures. You feel bad about enjoying. Isn't life supposed to be all work, no pleasure?
Today I urge you to stop and think about it. Why are you being productive? Why do you feel such a need to be productive and such a need to tell everyone how productive you are? Why can't you enjoy without feeling guilt? Why do you have to be allowed to enjoy?
Maybe, just maybe, the reasons aren't so great.