Generally, I’m a work-before-play type of gal. I don’t feel settled, and I can’t truly enjoy myself, if I have a long to-do list hanging over my head. I prefer to at least get several work items done before I sit down to relax, or play a game, or disappear into Guild Wars 2 for a while. But once in a while I give myself permission to just blow off a day. Do the minimum required to uphold my responsibilities. And just disengage.
Sunday was a day like that. I made sure the GeekMom post queue wasn’t filling up, we did a rudimentary cleaning of the kitchen, we got our daily writing done, and we played Guild Wars 2 the rest of the day.
Why do I let myself do this sometimes?
I’ve learned that sometimes, even when faced with a long and time consuming to-do list, I just need to take time for myself. I rarely put my own personal needs first, and sometimes I need to be selfish about it. When I do this, though, the next day I have an even longer list of things to do, but I usually have the renewed mental energy to handle it. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, sometimes it’s best to start knocking items off my list, but sometimes it’s better to say, “Fuck it all,” and take a mental health day.
How do I let myself do this?
It’s hard. Believe me. I have to gain perspective to allow myself to do this, and try to loosen up a little. I can’t usually sustain the proper attitude, but I can do it for a day here and there. In 20 years, will I remember a day when I wrote a lot, reviewed a lot, cleaned a lot, and ran a lot of errands? Or will I remember a day when I alternately snuggled up with Rory in bed while watching Downton Abbey and kicked some Skelk butt in Guild Wars 2? I’ve made an effort to be a little less serious, and to enjoy life more on a day to day basis, rather than feeling like it’s a race to get things done. Because no matter how many things I get done, there are always more things. Always.
And here’s some perspective. I’m the type of person that’s always reliable and dependable. My daughter’s Girl Scout leader has given me tasks, and no one else, because she told me I was the dependable one. And taking a day off from regular responsibilities is about as rebellious as I get. But it does feel good to do it once in a while. Then I can play catch-up the next day. It all works out.
So while taking care of responsibilities is an important thing, and people knowing they can count on you is vital, it’s important to take some time for yourself, to do whatever you want to do sometimes. Not what someone else thinks you should do, but what you would choose to do at a given time. You matter. Life is short. Make the most of it.