When it finally comes together
It was Saturday. Just this past Saturday to be exact.
The rain was pounding outdoors and the errands I needed to run were not going to happen. The umbrella that was adequate for Colorado was no match for this rainstorm. It was a real gully-washer and it was going to last all day.
I had some important things to do, like grocery shopping, but nothing that couldn’t wait. There were enough odds and ends in the kitchen to stimulate a more, ahem, creative approach to mealtimes.
What stretched ahead now was an unstructured day. No list of things to check off. No expectation of results. No commitments to other people.
I should be clear, there was plenty to do. Unpacking still needed to be handled and laundry to cycle through. Boxes in the garage needed to be brought in and boxes in the spare room brought to the garage. Plus, clean the cat box. Always the cat box.
But that could wait. The rainstorm was a gift. How did I want to spend my suddenly free time?
Have you ever had a day like that?
Sounds luxurious, doesn’t it? Maybe you curl up with a good book or binge watch your favorite series. Perhaps you phone a friend and cook up a scheme together – then do it!
Maybe, you finally write a real letter to your mom, or start your Christmas list now so you can actually finish in time.
I like to give handmade gifts, and an early start is the dream but rarely the reality.
That’s what I’ll do! I’ll spend the day playing with crochet! I’ll dream up a new pattern and find my stash of thread! Yes! I know just where those things are!
I prepared a quick meal for myself, then noticed the empty spot on the wall that I had been meaning to fill with a piece of art. Before I start, I’ll find the piece I’m thinking of and hang it.
So, into the spare room I went, digging through boxed artwork looking for the exact one I wanted to hang in that blank spot. But wait! I can’t let this one stay boxed up. I have to find a place for this one!
You can see where this is going.
Instead of crochet, I spent the day filling in blank spots on my walls. The trail of bubble wrap, used packing tape, and crumpled newspaper spread like litter while the walls began to look like home.
I never did crochet that day. Instead, I nested, I puttered, I fixed up the place.
I could have chastised myself for not following through. I could fuss about never having enough time to crochet and now I blew it. But I didn’t. Rather than bemoan the loss of crochet time, I appreciated my things anew.
That was the day it all came together. Now, it feels like home.
I had permission to do what I like and permission to change my mind.
This is what permission looks like.
We need our downtime. We need time to putter. We need time to just fiddle around. Without guilt. Without the nagging feeling that you should be doing something else. Without wondering what will they think?
We have such high expectations for ourselves. We put ourselves last because there are so many things, so many people, so many tasks that demand our attention. We put ourselves at the bottom of our own list of priorities.
We don’t give ourselves permission to live our life or to honor our urges in the moment. The consequences seem too great. We’re caught without a hall pass. We’ll get busted. We’ll regret it.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Sometimes it’s OK to postpone; sometimes (often!) they can fend for themselves.
If it helps, write a permission slip and put it on the fridge under a magnet. “Today, I have permission to ______.” When you start feeling guilty, go back and read it again. When your loved ones clamor for you to wait on them, yet again, point to the permission slip. They’ll get the idea.
When it’s time to put yourself first, please remember to give yourself permission. That will be the day it will all come together.
What permission do you need today?