Thank you for sticking with me through these “Golden Ticket” posts – it’s been quite a while since I posted five times in five days! But the “Golden Ticket” experience was big enough to discuss with you in detail, so that meant a series of posts. And I truly believe it has changed my understanding of the importance of self care, a topic I thought I knew quite a bit about. So – my final “Golden Ticket” post:
I knew I was going to finish my “Golden Ticket” with my monthly book club meeting – great group and we meet at a local bakery for Sunday brunch and talk – but I had all day Saturday to complete my advanced self-care adventure. (You see, my Other Half was out of town taking care of his own inner self in the ways that best suit him – self care isn’t just for the distaff side of the population!) I had done the necessary preparation work before going on my solo retreat to the Well of Mercy (click here for details about that outing!) and after the rest of the Golden Ticket, I thought I was ready for the self-care equivalent of the Big Game.
A solo date.
Now, I’m fine with going to a movie alone, or eating in a good restaurant alone – but what I had planned was different from that. (By the way, if you’re not comfortable doing those things alone – especially eating at a good restaurant by yourself – start there. Smile politely and insist on a good table, and refuse to be stuck by the kitchen or the restrooms. Sail into the place as if you own it and you will probably be surprised at the level of service you receive. Tip well, by the way.) You see, I took myself on a romantic date for one. At home.
After spending the day reading and painting (I’m behind on the 100 Day Project, but enjoying myself), I gathered my ingredients and tried some more complicated recipes than my usual rotation. I played Tony Bennett (and his collaborations with Lady Gaga are one of the loveliest, most pure things in this world today), tried my hand at making a silky, rich mousse and prepared orzo with steamed vegetables and a spiced Cornish hen. (Honestly, not hard, but time-consuming as the little bird roasts slowly and requires frequent basting.) I set the table with my mother’s china and silver, used my great-aunt’s crystal goblets, and ate by candlelight, beginning with a one-person appetizer plate of cheese, crackers, nuts, and dried apricots. Dinner was a voluptuous meal, designed to be eaten largely with my fingers, so I had a rose petal finger bowl at hand. Dessert was the first helping of the mousse (the second part was reserved for Sunday breakfast!) and a perfectly-made cappuccino.
Afterward, I treated myself to a chocolate bath – yes, you read that right. A chocolate face mask, chocolate soap from French Broad Chocolates in Asheville, and a chocolate bath mix made with cocoa, powdered milk, and cornstarch. And, of course, a little good chocolate as well! Add a good book and some sparkling water, maybe an eye mask – ooh la la, indeed! Finish off with clean sheets and fresh, pretty pajamas and let me tell you – this night will convince you that the Golden Ticket is something you need to try on a regular basis!
Having the house to yourself for a short period of time can be a true delight, as you have no one else to consider. You truly can do as you like. Now – yes, with this plan, you still have kitchen clean up to do, but there’s not much to that, especially with a dishwasher. (And I find hand washing a few pieces of “the good stuff” to be restful as I think on the women these items belonged to.) Yes, I still had animals to care for, but I agreed long ago to share my home with the Furs, so that wasn’t bad. I must admit that the recipes themselves weren’t perfect – mousse requires well-beaten egg whites, and I didn’t get there, so my mousse wasn’t light and airy but more of a yummy, dense ganache. And the spice mix on the hen didn’t really suit my tastes (I’m more of a basic lemon-garlic girl), but the point was to try something new. And on that, I believe I succeeded quite well.
So let’s review the Golden Ticket stages. Over the course of about nine days, make careful plans to spend:
- Quality time with good friends
- A few days away, with at least one shop to enjoy
- Time on a solo retreat to ponder hard things
- An indulgent date night with yourself
- Some time with friends discussing books and life
Divas, this was not easy to do. It takes a good deal of planning and a little scheming. It’s very hard for most of us to say “no” to others and “yes” to ourselves, and this feels so big. NINE DAYS?? I understand that – that’s the very reason I recommend starting with smaller bits, like the 12-Hour Vacation and the “Diva Drills” I’ve included under the Resources tab of the website.
The world really will keep on spinning. Let it tend to itself for a while. And you tend to yourself so you can come back recharged and ready to do what you were meant to do in this world.
Scatter joy, Divas!