Today is a ‘me’ day. No cleaning, no laundry, no running my daughter here, there and everywhere. Time to relax in a coffee shop with my soy latte, get a manicure/pedicure, and at some point, settle down with my current book.
Do I feel guilty? Absolutely.
Should I feel guilty? Absolutely not.
This past semester was grueling. It was the worst semester I can remember pushing through. I enjoyed only one of my classes. Two of my classes I sweated out to the very end, fearing I might actually fail — only to make B’s in both. By the way, I’m still puzzling this, knowing only one of two things must’ve happened: either I’d calculated my grades wrong going into the finals, or both professors gave me considerable ‘class participation’ points. I don’t really care. Hell, I made B’s!
I became News Editor of the university paper and became consumed by assigning and editing stories on top of writing my own. This, in turn, contributed (considerably) to the slacking in the aforementioned classes.
The two weeks since have been events piled upon events. I’m working on two separate stories for the first issue of the new semester. I’ll be applying for Editor-in-Chief in the spring, and thus been working on sorting through my thoughts and ideas for the presentation I’ll make to the hiring committee. There’s been cleaning and decorating, my daughter’s school play, my daughter’s class’ cookies with Santa, planning and decorating for my daughter’s class party, HOSTING the party, cooking for one family christmas, attending one family christmas. Buying gifts, wrapping gifts, more laundry, more cleaning, play dates, wrapping more gifts, cleaning after overnight guests, and on and on.
So why do I feel guilty? Because I’m very much aware that everyone else (well, most everyone else) out there is doing this in addition to working.
So I’m conflicted as I write this, but I’m very much aware that we (and by ‘we’ I mean mostly women) have trouble treating ourselves. We feel guilty. But when we don’t take that ‘me’ time, or at least when I don’t, things become topsy-turvy. I can always tell I’m too stressed when I stop writing — it’s what centers me, and I’d bet you have signs, too. While some might consider this blog ‘work’ on my ‘me’ day, it’s actually a much-needed release. I couldn’t be more relaxed sitting here, sipping my latte, stringing words together and positioning them in what I consider the right order.
No, I shouldn’t feel guilty for taking a day off. And you shouldn’t either. Even if you’re not as lucky as me and able to take a full day, at the very least take a few hours. Enjoy a bubble bath. Get that manicure/pedicure. Sit down at the end of the day with a nice cup of tea and enjoy the silence. Just breathe. The clothes in the dryer can wait ‘til tomorrow.
The next five days will be mayhem. Good mayhem, yes, but mayhem nonetheless. We all deserve a little ‘me’ time, so take it. Free of guilt. It’ll make your holidays all the more enjoyable, it'll make your family all the more enjoyable, and after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?
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