Listen, I feel like we’ve known each other a good while now. I feel like I’ve showed you some pretty vulnerable and tender under-belly stuff here in the last few months so we’re working with a good soul-rapport. Therefore, I feel comfortable spilling the beans.
This is not a new blog.
I was pounding my head against keys last night in the midst of a very stressful and busy week, wondering what I could possibly come up with that was meaningful and timely. I began looking through my old blog posts from the NCW Writing Bug days (still a FANTASTIC blog, go and check it out if you can; The Writing Bug) and found this one. Though years have passed, it was serendipitous to see myself immersed in the same turbulent cycle of stress and not writing, so I’m sharing it again for all of those out there who are suffering in kind as a gentle reminder:
Find your joy. Life’s too short and miserable to live without it.
“I haven’t been writing.
There. I said it.
I thought I’d give it up for a little while, because, hey, life is busy right now and I have things that NEED to be done.
Writing is a luxury. It feels selfish and languid to sit in front of my computer and write, especially with such little measurable profit for my effort. It feels greedy. I mean, how can writing be more important than getting through the never-ending pile of laundry or the constant but unnoticeable job of keeping the house from tanking into disarray? How can it possibly be as necessary as feeding the kids or taking the dogs to the vet? The living things must take priority after all.
I haven’t been writing. I’ve been cleaning out closets and cutting back the dead and brittle death of winter in my garden. I’ve been carting the kids to school and extra-curricular activities and logging countless, mind-numbing miles in the process of training for a marathon (which, have I mentioned? I’m so over the joy of running).
I’ve been planning and executing birthday parties (which I wish meant that I actually got to execute the idea of gift baggies filled with tiny, un-organizable stuff). I’ve been replacing broken crowns and Craiglisting the contents of my crawlspace. But I haven’t been writing.
The result: It’s been one of the most stressful, anxiety-ridden months of my life. I can’t ever seem to catch up on anything, and when I do it falls back into needing done. There’s no progress. I’m as irritable and surly as a hamster stuck on a wheel, running but not moving. I have no patience and no joy. In short I’ve become a jerk.
And I can’t help but wonder if the lack of doing something, just one thing, that I love is letting the dark and ugly side of me run rampant.
Somewhere in the scramble to be an independent adult I sacrificed the idea that my own joy was a worthwhile venture.
When did following our happiness become something selfish?
I’m putting “WRITE” on the top of my list today, and I’m not doing anything else until I’ve given time to my own happiness. It will pay more than money. It will pay in fulfillment and give meaning and beauty in a world of laundry piles and dentist appointments.
What brings you joy in life? Have you invested in your joy today?”