For the past few months, ever since I started my new job at the library, I’ve been working on this thing called “self-care.” Self-care is the completely insane idea that when you feel like you have no time to do anything, let alone all of the billion jillion things you need to get done in addition to the things you want to get done, you do even less. That’s right— instead of tackling your to-do list right away, you take a breath, watch a movie, drink a cup of tea, or write in a journal, and you feel better after. As you can probably see from the last few blog posts, this has been my main area of focus lately. I’ve been doing okay at it. But this week I was put to the test.
This week was actually way more low-key than the previous ones. I didn’t have appointments, didn’t really have commitments. Just a whole lot of PMS and a few movies to see. This means that when there were opportunities to do more, and there were, it was a challenge to say no, because I technically had no reason for it. On Saturday it felt like I was playing hooky when I hung out at Peaks in the morning, as I didn’t have to work until 1:30. But on Sunday, when Eli and I laid in bed doing absolutely nothing but sleeping, eating soup, and watching Gilmore Girls, I didn’t feel guilty. And when, later that day, my sister came over to visit my apartment for the first time, and we also did nothing but make food and lounge around, I was glad I had kept my day clear for her. The thing I realized is: my time is my own. And as Newt Scamander said in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (one of the two movies I saw this week), “worrying means you suffer twice.”
Damn, J.K. Rowling serving some wisdom to my court once AGAIN. Now, here I sit, Monday morning after a pretty low-key week, and it feels like the universe is rewarding me for chilling the f*ck out, as it is what we Upstate New Yorkers would call “a f*cking blizzard” out there. The library is closed, which means my day has opened up even more, and I now have time to pack for my pretty exciting week, write, do yoga, and drink more tea. It’s really freaking hard for me not to feel guilty about taking time for myself. I don’t know why, but I think I was programmed to believe that if I wasn’t being productive every second, I wasn’t a good person. We’ve been over this, I think. But now I’m revising what the word productive even means, and realizing that it can mean writing, or napping, or just sweeping the floor and laying with a cat. Productivity is a word that was created to make hardworking people feel guilty for not doing even more. We do plenty. So if you can today, chill the fuck out, drink some tea, and take a nap. That's what I'm about to do.