I’ve been so caught up lately in trying to meet my own self imposed writing deadlines while navigating an emotionally demanding job and finding time for my family, that I’ve neglected one very important principal.  It sounds obvious:

 

Life is meant to be lived.

 

An argument with my self immediately ensues. “I am living! Not only am I living, I am enlightened.”  

“Uh-huh.  Sure you are.”

 

I admit my days are busy, but I journal nearly every day, I carve out time for yoga, I get the housework done and the bills paid and meals on the table.  I write things.

 

Life is meant to be lived.

 

Oh, all right, I admit that I frequently avoid reading a new book because it will take me away from writing.  I don’t go outside and enjoy the sun, because I can’t take see the laptop screen very well out there, and I should be writing.  Watch a movie with the kids?  Just sit and enjoy a cup of coffee with the man in my world, who is also my very best friend?  Start that writing group I’ve been talking about?  No – because I should be writing.

 

Meanwhile, much of the time I’m not really writing, just making the motions, slogging along for no other reason than bloody minded determination.  And then one morning when I wake up, I realize that the writing has become onerous instead of joyful, that I never want to ever write another word, ever, and wondering “what is the point? I’ll never get published and nobody will ever read it anyway.”

 

So I give myself permission to take a day off.  No Writing Required.  A day to remember being.  And by the end of the day, I am writing again, because I want to, because there is pleasure in it.  In an effort to retain the lesson learned, I am hereby granting myself various permissions.

 

Permission Granted:

 

To sit in the evening sunlight, reading a brand new book and watching the hummingbirds chase each other around the feeder.

 

To sleep in, take naps, and otherwise revel in the sacred art of slumber.

 

To go for walks with no purpose involved – not for exercise, or weight loss, or even to count the number of trees that fell during that last wind storm – simply walking for walking’s sake.

 

To write things that aren’t meant to be published, because I feel like it.

 

To drink a cup of coffee with my friend and lover, to watch mindless tv, to laugh, and love and cherish the moment.

 

To send my novels out into the world simply because I took the time to write them. 

 

Permission granted just to be.

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