Today I looked out of my window and saw a stray cat licking its paw. It didn’t matter to Cat that around him, there were cars jostling for space in a narrow road, street hawkers desperate to flog their wares of rapidly rotting fruit, security guards walking their respective beats on guard against danger, office workers in suits and ties pounding the pavement on the way from one meeting to another. All Cat cared about was its paw, and licking it, so that’s what Cat did- lick, lick, lick, slowly and deliberately, with complete focus and utter indifference to the cares and demands of the world about it.
There’s a lesson to be learned from Cat- that no matter how frantic and frenzied the world may be around you, it’s very important, nay absolutely crucial, to take a moment and concentrate on you. Cat was saying, with each delicate pass of his tongue, “Humans- why not pause in your mad schemes and endless worries, pick a thing that nourishes you, and do it?”
Now, it’s true that finding the time to focus on yourself and your needs is very hard to do during the working week. The daily grind is designed to chip away at your desire for self care, and we let it, because we tell ourselves this job or that job is needed and necessary. And unless you’re a professional Tupperware opener or an expert in alien poetry, what you do probably does serve a real purpose.
Let me remind you, however, that the entire point of the weekend is to give us all an opportunity to turn our backs on what everyone else may want, or need, or deem necessary and, metaphorically, find a patch of sunlight in which to lick our paws.
It’s Friday, light-seekers, and therefore the weekend. Here are a few things to help you get into it.
1. This photo of Lupita Nyongo to remind you that beauty in every form is a thing to be celebrated and that all a girl needs to achieve laid-black sophistication is a white t-shirt, nude lipstick, luminous skin, an Ivy League degree, an Oscar and the entire fashion industry desperate to clothe and celebrate you. Easy peasy!
2. This poem from Sarah Kay’s No Matter The Wreckage, a sort-of great book of poetry. It has legions of fans, and Kay herself is an excellent spoken word poet. This poem, The Shirt, is cute, relatable and is basically the best bits of a rom-com in poem form.
3. This photo of the Best Bird to Ever Bird (please feel free to argue about this in the comments), the Ruff, because, as a wise Twitter user has pointed out, “it looks like an old lady in a hat with a strange handbag.”
4. This letter, by way of the ever-excellent Letters of Note, from HG Wells to the Mayor of Cambridge, which may serve as a handy template for when, after your panicked morning-after walk of shame, you find you’ve made off with an item of someone else’s clothing.
5. Finally, this so-simple-we-should-have-accepted-this-as-fact-years-ago-but-apparently-needed-a-PhD-from-Princeton-to-spell-it-out-for-us TED Talk on how exactly money can buy you happiness (Spoiler: spend it on other people). If you still want to, of course go ahead and spend all your money on a new pair of shoes (I’m not judging, you should see my wardrobe) but #science is now telling you that you are WAY more likely to get the good feels if you splash out on a loved one instead. Here’s the transcript for anyone who can’t watch the video.
Our featured image is obviously of a cat licking its own paw, because I am a mega fan of belabouring a metaphor, but I think it’s important I say that when I was sourcing the image, I found lots and lots, and chose this one because this cat looks like it was born with perhaps 1 or 2 f***s, and used them up a long time ago, and wants you to know that it has no more to give. This, lovelies, is how I want you to go into your weekend: paw-licking and not giving a damn.
GO FORTH AND FROLIC.