Last Thursday, I finished the first draft of my manuscript. Really, it was rather anti-climatic: I calculated the total number of words (67,908), and proudly displayed a picture of it on every social media outlet.
I danced around our upstairs library for a couple of minutes, but without anyone to join me, soon realized that I was actually pretty tired and really just wanted to take a nap. Because it was just another normal Thursday, I soon picked the boys up from school, took them out for a slice of pizza, and headed back to to the school an hour later for their Christmas concert.
So it goes.
I’ve vowed to not look at my manuscript until after New Year’s, for good reason, and although I have a couple of other deadlines floating around here and there, I’m practicing the art of rest. I’m listening to my body, because in the push to get it done done done, I haven’t done a great job of listening to myself.
Last night, after putting the boys to bed, I poured myself a cup of tea and sat down beside the twinkling tree. Do I read? Do I watch a show on Netflix? Do I play a round or two of Words With Friends? Do I wash the dishes? Do I pick up the living room? Do I sit in quiet for a little while? Do I listen and respond to a Voxer message?
With James out of town for the weekend, I only had to answer to myself …and at the end of it, my answer came from responding to two questions:
What do I need right now?
What do I want right now?
Sometimes, in the midst of just trying to survive, I forget that not only do I have opinions and needs, but I am allowed to have opinions and needs.
Do I want my friend to come over and clean a problem spot in my house so I can buy the product she’s selling? No. Do I need to sit down and read a chapter in the Jojo Moyes’ novel, After You? Yes. Do I want to mop the floors because they haven’t been mopped in a couple of months? Yes, I actually do want to mop the floors! (Who knew?) Do I want to make Christmas cookies with my boys? No, not this afternoon – but tomorrow morning is a strong possibility. Do I need to watch The Crown? Yes. Do I want to have a glass of eggnog? No, I am not feeling the ‘nog right now. Are my fingers itching to write a paragraph or two right now? Yes. Do I actually want to scroll through Facebook? No. Do I need to open my computer? Nope, not at all.
The list goes on, as it often does, but at the end of simply pausing and giving my insides permission to voice themselves, I find that I have an opinion after all.
That, in and of itself, is empowering, and that is just another way of practicing the sacred art of self-care.
So, do it. Give it a try. Listen to what you want and what you need, and trust your intuition for a change.
Then give yourself a pat on the back and do it all over again.
So, what do you need right now? What do you want right now? Go!0