I really love Downton Abbey. I grew up on the BBC and it nurtured in me a love of all things British, particularly English. The dignity with which most of the characters deport themselves, the simplicity of the age, and the wit and wisdom of Dame Maggie Smith keep me coming back, time and time again.
One of the sharpest contrasts between that time and this is the percentage of the population employed as servants. I know for a fact that none of my ancestors were ever waited on (in fact my great grandmother came to Canada from Ireland as a maid) but that does not keep me from daydreaming.
The idea of having a person or people to do all the work I cannot or do not wish to do is appealing, as long as you do not examine it too closely. For one thing, I could not stand the reduction in privacy that a maid implies. And where could she sleep, I’d like to know?
So I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to be my own maid. I know that probably sounds awful but hear me out. I deserve to be pampered and taken care of just as much as Lady Grantham. With no maid to do it, however, I’m going to do it myself. And I invite you to join me.
Since so many of the things that servants used to do by hand are now automated and done by machines, there are ways I’ve found to prepare things for myself that make life just a little more special. And if a little voice in your head objects “Who said you deserve such comfort and contentment?” you can reply “It’s her ladyship’s (or lordship’s) orders.”
Here are some ideas:
- Make the bed (decorative pillows optional)
- Set out slippers the night before
- Make up a tea tray (I keep one ready for myself at all times)
- Plan a meal of all favorites
- Linger over a favorite beverage
- Soak feet in Epsom salt and warm water before bed
- Warm the bed before sleep (in cold weather)
- Take a leisurely stroll (while a crockpot does the cooking)
- Sit in the sun while responding to “letters” (emails)
- Give yourself permission to be “not at home” to people seeking your attention, for a day
- Do all the dishes the night before so there are the space and tools available to prepare a sumptuous breakfast
The idea is to give your future self help, bring that person into sharper focus. As I’ve said before, for ADHD individuals, almost everything is “now” or “not now”. We need help to remember to care for that future version of us and do nice things for them. This form off pretending to be my own attendant makes it more fun for me.
What other small acts could you do to pamper your future self?