It’s Princess Night!

Instead of flying home to Denver tonight, I’m sticking around Dallas. However, as this week progressed, I realized that I didn’t yet have any plans for tonight. Rather than trying to find another poor planner who wasn’t booked in advance, I decided it was high time that tonight I do something that I always try to do but never actually end up doing. It’s Princess Night!

Anne Hathaway in Princess Diaries

Note: the term “Princess Night” is not my invention, but I do like it. If Mia can be a princess without knowing it, I think we can all pretend we have a little bit of princess inside us for just a night here and there.

When was the last time you took a night to do whatever you wanted, without feeling guilty about doing so? (That last part is key… I’m certainly not trying to say I never have fun, but when I do something purely for pleasure, there is that little voice in the back of my head reminding me of all the other things that I should be doing.) There are never enough hours in the day, and whenever I do have free time, I either immediately fill it with something from my to-do list, or I feel guilty that I’m “wasting” that time instead of getting things done. But there is nothing wasted about recharging your batteries, both physically and emotionally!

And this is where the concept of “Princess Night” came from. You block off a night from all other obligations, and instead of using it to get more work done, see friends/family, or run errands, you use it for whatever you feel like doing in that moment. You could draw a fancy bubble bath with candles all around and listen to soothing music. (Which is what the person who told me about Princess Night says she does, and how it came to be called “Princess Night”, since a spa-like experience like that is incredibly luxurious.)  You could blog, like I’m doing right now. Heck, you could even catch up on your to-do list… but only if you really want to do the things on it, right in that moment. The main rules around Princess Night are that you can’t plan it ahead of time and that you have free reign to do whatever you feel like doing instead of what you feel like you have to do. (Isn’t that freeing? I think so.)

Princess Night was suggested to me almost a year ago, but I have to admit, I’ve only managed to actually follow the rules and block it off for myself twice, including tonight. But here are some of my favorite Princess Night activities:

  • Working out
  • Going to a favorite restaurant, either with friends (if I’m craving interaction) or a good book (if I want solitude)
  • Cooking
  • Reading in bed (books, blogs, or both)
  • Watching TV / going to a movie
  • Writing a blog post
  • Getting a mani/pedi
  • Sleeping

One thing that is also kind of neat about Princess Night is that it can be an eye opener to see what you enjoy and are passionate about. If you don’t feel any sense of obligation, what would you spend your time doing? Then once you see what those activities are, how much time do you spend on them when it’s not the guilt-free Princess Night? Comparing your Princess Night activities to your normal nights/weekends can show you potential areas for improvement. If you don’t regularly get the time to do these activities that you love, maybe it’s time to reevaluate how you’re spending your time and shift your priorities (where possible).

Tonight, I did spend ten minutes of my Princess Night making a list of things I want to get done tomorrow. But now, I am going to spend the night responding to some emails about my blog (that I am very excited about and just haven’t had the time to take care of before), reading this book, and then eating something yummy and healthy for dinner before heading to bed at a very early hour. Or maybe doing something else entirely, if the mood strikes! Those tasks are certainly nothing revolutionary, but I feel great getting to do exactly what I want – which will reset me to take care of some of the “have-to-dos” tomorrow.

Comments

  1. Can the selfish effort to please one’s own present self, actually result – in the long term – in the bettering of not just one’s own self but the lives of others as well?

    On March 19, 2014 (a Wednesday) I asked to completely take the day off. I didn’t go to work, I didn’t think about what I did. I spent half the day with a wonderful girl exploring an art gallery and walking a long a river, and the second half the day catching up on reading and other trivial activities of my own selfish interest. No plans. No commitments. Or being somewhere.

    It was bliss.

    And it will be done again.

    • That sounds like a fantastic day, and exactly what I need to start doing more often.

      Also, to your point about bettering others, I will note that I’ve been a lot less cranky AND a lot more productive all day today :)

  2. :)

  3. I love this post. I may have shared this with you before, but here is a fun list of ideas for a “princess day/night”: http://tonyaleigh.com/100-ways-to-have-a-love-affair-with-life/

    I needed a list of ideas because I was doing the same thing with my limited leisure time–drinking wine and dining out. Which is fun, but shouldn’t be one’s only leisure activity! Have fun in Dallas and see you next wknd!

  4. What a fun idea! I take my birthday as a ‘do exactly what I want, when I want’ day but I like the idea of doing this randomly throughout the year, too. I tend to do a mini-Princess night if my husband ever travels for work – I watch the TVs *I* want to watch, make a dinner that only I love and eat lots of popcorn in bed. :) Hope you fully enjoyed your night!
    lynne @ lgsmash recently posted…Emotionalism: What Mountaineering School Taught Me About MyselfMy Profile

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