Be Kind to Yourself

I just read that human beings are hard-wired to play hooky.  Man, I feel so much better about myself now.  Don’t get me wrong, I am one hard-working person, but there are times when I’m fed up with my own expectations. Case in point:

I’m currently at a writing retreat where I spent good money to hunker down and finish the last two chapters of my book. It’s a great idea for a working person, isn’t it?  Spend a weekend away from everything else going on in your life with a dozen dedicated writers all struggling with their own stories. I fit right in!

The truth is I’m never truly satisfied with “what is.” Even though I work long days as a teacher, I expect that I can churn out a regular schedule of writing as if I were retired. Yes, I get up and write before work on most days, but if I don’t produce something worthwhile, I hate myself a little bit for having a lousy work ethic.  What’s up with that? 

I need to stop this nonsense and congratulate small successes. Any progress is something to cheer about!

In that vein, I’m happy to report I just wrote one of the two unwritten chapters. This milestone is even more surprising when you understand I have spent nearly a year alternately avoiding and frantically trying to get it down on paper. That sounds crazy, but the process of writing down the past can be a ridiculously treacherous task…and now I needed to clear my head.

Kleenex in hand, I stepped outside into the forest and heard a lone whinny.  Pointing my boots in that direction, I began a celebratory hike to discover a dapple white mare bobbing her head at my approach. It’s exactly what I needed.

So here’s some advice from a workaholic: Be kind to yourself. Celebrate small successes. Take a hike…and then get back to work.

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