These 5 “Guilty Pleasures” Totally Spark Joy for Me — All 100% Guilt-Free
No shaming here! They may be called guilty pleasures, but in reality, they’re the happy-making, very guilt-free things that make life worth living.
We all have our individual hobbies and interests, activities and guilty pleasures that make us really happy, and that’s a really great thing. Some people like collecting stuff like limited-edition beanie babies or rare coins, some enjoy free climbing, gardening, cooking, needlepoint, etc. Hobbies are great because they counterbalance the stressful adulting we are all forced to do every day AND teach us new skills.
I started 2020 vowing to have more fun because frankly, the world seems like it’s going to hell in a handbasket, and it’s important to have happier things to focus on. Hobbies are a great way to escape all the humdrum.
The activities that we gleefully indulge in are sometimes referred to, by us and others, as “guilty pleasures,” but there’s nothing guilt-like about doing something you genuinely enjoy when you have some downtime. This is the part where I mention that said enjoyment shouldn’t come at the expense of others, so don’t go swinging your neighbors’ mailboxes off with a baseball bat because breaking things is the activity that sparks joy for you. Maybe go to a rage room and pay to smash stuff that’s been designated for Hulk smashing.
I have a need … a need for Funko Pops
One of my guilty pleasures is collecting Funko Pops. I specifically collect figures of badass women in popular culture — and the odd Doctor Who villain. Growing up, I was OBSESSED with strong women on telly. I remember jumping off furniture and tearing around the parlor pretending to be Sheena. You know, from the movie Sheena: Queen of the Jungle? She’s basically the female Tarzan, but way cooler, albeit white savior-y. I loved She-Ra too. And Cynthia Rothrock. Michelle Yeoh, Charlie’s Angels, Supergirl, the female Power Rangers, X-Men’s Rogue, Jean Grey, and Storm, and many more too.
As the years went by, others like Uma Thurman’s “The Bride” joined that list, along with Wonder Woman, Melinda May, Bobbie Draper, Crisjen Avasarala, Camina Drummer, Jean Grey, Imperator Furiosa, Hela, Lady Sif, Phillipa Georgiou, the Canaries, Okoye, Faith Lehane, Buffy Summers … seriously, I could go on.
I’ve never really cared about how accurate or realistic their powers are. I just love to see women kick ass on screen in a world where the odds are constantly stacked against us. And there are many more fictional women who are powerful despite the absence of supernatural ability, but perhaps I focus so much on the super-powered ones because it’s nice to see us be so dominant. And so I collect Funkos of them to surround myself with a reminder that women are fierce as hell.
Make a wish, not a purchase
In our collective journey through the rich tapestry of Asian beauty, we are constantly learning and growing. One of the many important lessons that is often mentioned is financial responsibility when it comes to shopping for products. If your favorite e-tailer is having a 20% off sale, but you had no plans or need to buy anything, you’re not actually saving money by shopping said sale. I’m very susceptible to savings opportunities and shiny new product releases, so I counteract that recklessness by online window shopping.
Whenever the mood strikes, I trawl the sites for skincare that looks promising and create a wish list instead of purchasing outright. It’s a good exercise because it gives me the opportunity to really assess each individual product’s merit as well as its place in my routine. And when I am ready to replenish a step in my regimen, I can revisit the list for inspiration.
This method isn’t limited to skincare either. It works for clothes, makeup, or whatever else inspires your shopaholic proclivities. Better to dream than to actually buy a ton of stuff you don’t need or can’t afford.
Sparking maybe too much joy sometimes
At some point in my life, I used to be super disorganized. My clothes lived in a pile on my wardrobe floor or piled haphazardly on a shelf. *gasp* I know. I can’t believe I used to be that person either. Once in a while, I would make an effort to organize it all, but after two weeks, it would be back to chaos. I could never find anything, and my bedroom didn’t look great.
At some point, the analytical side of my brain kicked in, and I just got super obsessed with having everything in its proper place. I play car Tetris when there’s ever a need to pack a vehicle up for a trip, make a list of things to pack so I never forget anything, love making weekly task lists to ensure I stay on top of everything, etc. Every single thing I own has a designated position so that I can always access them whenever I need to without playing the “omg where did I see it last?” game. And being organized means that I never come home tired and have to clean stuff off my bed before I can go to sleep.
At least once a year, I like to do a big spring clean with the goal of being able to fit my life into three suitcases (sidenote: hasn’t worked yet lol). Sometimes I get so wrapped up in decongesting that I get carried away and trash/donate stuff I didn’t really mean to. I donated my Louis Vuitton Pochette one year by accident, and I still cry hot tears whenever I think about it. And so now, instead of heatedly dumping stuff into contractor bags over the space of two hours, I take my time and sort stuff out over a week or so. That way, if I ever realize I put something in the donate pile by accident, I can always retrieve it before it’s too late.
Some of my friends call me an encyclopedia because I can be a fount of random knowledge when the mood strikes. I’m no Sherlock Holmes or Shuri, but I genuinely love to learn and pick up random information from time to time. This innate curiosity is a product of the voracious reading my mum nurtured in me from a very young age and the fact that I grew up right alongside the internet. Suddenly, all this information was at my fingertips, and I could find answers to a lot of questions. Back then, internet access came in the form of cyber cafes where you could purchase however much time you needed. I kept a notebook full of things I wanted to search for so that I could maximize my browsing time.
The DIY culture in America is another thing that inspires learning. Whereas in a country like Nigeria, one would hire a house painter whenever a living room or bedroom needed a go over, here in the United States, it’s very common for people to take a trip to Home Depot for supplies and then spend a day doing the work themselves. So when the faucet in our house needed a new wand or the dryer needed a vent hose replacement, I simply googled instructions, ordered the parts, and got it done. I like stuff that I can do with my hands because the finished product gives me a sense of pride. To be able to watch something go from a bunch of raw materials to a defined object just makes me feel good.
The church of sheet masks
Skincare trends may come and go, but my love for sheet masks will always be there. I’ll always be the person who buys 50 or more at a time and has a whole bathroom drawer dedicated to the things. When I visit friends, I turn into the sheet mask fairy, handing out hydration and brightening left and right. We all end up doing a PM routine together in front of the telly or around a table with mugs of tea while we chat.
In the last few months, I’ve actually had to smack my own hand away from my computer when the temptation to buy more masks arose. There is no justification for owning 100 masks when I don’t even use one every night. Sometimes I’m just too tired to wait 30 minutes before completing my final step for the night. And so this year, one of my goals is to practice sheet mask self-control.
I have a few favorites such as the JayJun Real Water Brightening Black masks, the Leaders Amino Propolis masks, and Papa Recipe Bombee Honey masks, and I’m always on the lookout for new holy grails. So if you’ve got any recommendations for dry, sensitive, aging skin, drop me a line in the comments.
Talk about guilty pleasure! Let’s have a giveaway!
All you have to do is comment below and tell us what your (guilt-free) guilty pleasures are! (You just might help us find our next hobby!)
The first 30 commenters will receive a coupon code for a free Neogen Real Fresh Cleansing Stick Green Tea* in your next order!
*U.S. orders only.