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by Mary Engelbreit

by Mary Engelbreit

Yesterday was my Queen Day.

Queen Day is my day to pamper myself…to indulge in the luxuries I usually deny myself due to the necessary things in life. This way, rather than feeling resentful for not “having” those things, this one day each year I give myself permission to pamper me…to do something silly with my money and my time with no excuses or logic. This is the original goal. Fortunately over time, I’ve learned to pamper myself in other ways throughout the year so that the importance of this day has lessened…and grown…and shifted…and changed…just like me.

Queen Day originated when I was about nine or 10 years old. I had been given a Cabbage Patch Kid, which I hated, and one day I was bored enough to look at the adoption papers. I was asked to name this doll and create a birthdate. I was super annoyed that this doll got the opportunity to benefit from a day I liked, so rather than give her such a day, I decided to give myself a birthdate that I liked for me…because I didn’t like my birthdate.

One reason I didn’t really like my birthday was because it’s in the summer and my friends weren’t around to celebrate with me. Another reason is I didn’t get to choose what I did on my birthday…there were always family obligations and rituals whether I liked them or not. But the biggest reason I didn’t like my birthday is because of the calendars. My birth month is notorious for being assigned the ugliest picture in the entire collection. Even today, if I can’t see and approve the picture for my birth month, I refuse to purchase the calendar.

So, one day, completely annoyed by my hideous calendar pictures and loving the beautiful pictures of tulips and daffodils and roses and all sorts of flowers in the month of May, I finally settled on my new birthdate. This date wasn’t intended to replace my real birthdate…it simply was created to celebrate me and all the things I love so much in a way that I like, instead of obligations. So, I chose the date, May 14th (my favorite number at the time) and eventually dubbed it “Queen Day.”

Over the years, this day has evolved, adding traditions and rituals that feel good to me and the purpose of the day. Usually, I spend the first part of the day alone in some area that I haven’t yet explored. I take my Queen Day journal with me, and I reflect on the year since the last Queen Day. I check in with myself to see if I’m heading in the direction I wish to go and make adjustments if necessary. I also set intentions for the next year.

Then, I go purchase something extravagant and completely unnecessary and foolish, and spend the evening out with friends.

Of course, each year it’s something different. One year I chose to afford to go to the musical “The Scarlet Pimpernel” with a girlfriend. One year, a bunch of ladies loved the Queen Day idea so much that we all bought tickets to Smucker’s Stars on Ice and made it a girls’ night out. One year I visited the Limberlost Swamp from my favorite childhood story, A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter. These memories are definite highlights.

Other years, the purchase was much less extravagant, either due to time restraints or commitments or budgets. One year, I bought flaming red lipstick. I never wore it, but it didn’t matter…I owned flaming red lipstick and that was enough. One year, I bought two gallons of bubble bath and achieved the dream soak. I discovered that my skin didn’t like such a soak and it drank equal amounts of lotion for the next week, but it was totally worth it. One year, I didn’t purchase anything at all because in that moment, on that day, my life was so perfectly wonderful that I really couldn’t have wished for anything more.

I think that day is still my favorite one.

This year, I’m experiencing something new and different…I’m in the middle of a massive shift and transition. It really isn’t possible for me to celebrate on time due to this transition, so some of my celebration will be postponed for a bit. I did, however, take a few minutes to write in my journal…evaluating my direction in life. For so long I’ve been feeling uncertain and confused as to which way to go, but today, I was surprised to discover how much I like where I’m headed…even if I don’t exactly know where that is yet. My adventurous spirit is beginning to peep out again, and my certainty in an abundant future is growing exponentially. I also feel as though a walk-a-bout is in my near future…one of my favorite things.

So when my transition settles down, I will put on my Queen Day tiara and let my celebration be about discovery…wandering about in an unknown place with no agenda or set destination…simply letting the Universe guide me to my next point of wonder. I’m getting excited!