February 2nd is Ayn Rand’s birthday.
Explained by Harry Binswanger, “Randsday is for reminding ourselves that pleasure is an actual need, a psychological requirement for a volitional consciousness. For man, motivation, energy, enthusiasm are not givens. Pathological depression is not only possible but rampant in our duty-preaching, self-denigrating culture. The alternative is not short-range, superficial "fun," but real, self- rewarding pleasure. On Randsday, if you do something that you ordinarily would think of as "fun," you do it on a different premise and with a deeper meaning: that you need pleasure, you are entitled to it, and that the purpose and justification of your existence is: getting what *you* want--what you really want, with full consciousness and dedication.”
I LOVE the idea of doing something for myself. In fact, I love it so much that I live that way every day; I do what I can to make myself happy on both a daily and long-term basis.
I took the Randsday idea as a challenge to do something that might save my sanity over a mid-range time period (3 to – heaven forbid – 7 years!) while my youngest daughter moves from drama-queen pre-teen through full-on rebellious teenager to the self-possessed confident young woman I see peering out of her huge chocolate eyes from time to time. I’d like to help her plan and execute a room design where she can display her precious books, organize her out-of-control collections of notebooks, memorabilia, writing implements, costumes, clothes, etc., be surrounded by the things that inspire her, and rest in the knowledge that her small bit of the world is under her control. I want to help her create a space where acting with grace and dignity is commensurate with her surroundings as she battles the conflicting feelings between the little girl needing assistance with everything and the young woman understanding her power to create not only an environment, but also a happy lifestyle for herself.
"We are those who do not disconnect the values of their minds from the actions of their bodies, those who do not leave their values to empty dreams, but bring them into existence, those who give material form to thoughts, and reality to values--those who make steel, railroads and happiness."
Dagny Taggart, Atlas Shrugged
If I can help my daughter realize her own ability to give material form to her thoughts through a room makeover, I might have given myself one of the greatest gifts any mother could ever give herself – a child who is not only temporarily happy, but more importantly understands her ability to make herself happy long-term.
We have planned this for a while, bought the paint last week, but today, Randsday, we start that project.