I didn’t write a post last week.
On Thursday, the day of the week I usually set aside to broadcast my inner turmoil and bad dating stories to the internet, I received an email from WordPress saying, “Time for your weekly post!” But I didn’t have anything to share.
When I first created this blog, I made the goal that I would publish something every week. For 10 weeks in a row I held to it. I know this might shock you, what with my easy-going nature and devil-may-care attitude, but I can be a rigidly disciplined nightmare. I love a good schedule. My email account and calendar are meticulously labeled and color coordinated. I cringe when any one adjusts brunch plans.
So last Monday rolls around. Typically this is when I start putting my fingers to the keyboard composing a symphony of quips, pop culture references and GIFS. But last week, I felt nothing. I was like Diana Morales in A Chorus Line in Mr. Karp’s class. I didn’t feel like a table or an ice cream cone! I hadn’t really been dating any one interesting. Nothing was particularly disastrous or beautifully exciting. I even contacted an old flame to see if that I would inspire a story. I dug right down the to bottom of my soul and I felt Nothing!
Actually, I felt totally overwhelmed.
Nine months ago, while I was living with the Ex, I found my free time consumed by him. I’d come home from work and was expected to bequeath all of my attention. Now, I wasn’t forced into this. I’m a grown man who can take responsibility for his own actions. He would just get sassy if I tried to read work emails or do singular activities (No Angry Birds!) And I’m such a sucker for making the people I love happy that I would often (read: always) acquiesce to his demands.
At the time, I resented it. If I wanted to check my email or kill a bunch of damn pigs using misshapen birds then that was my business. But he felt that I should give our time together my undivided attention and respect or whatever. I was catching up with a dear friend over drinks once years ago and she lamented about the same problem. She so accurately described her significant other as a heavy burden weighing her whole life down. I raised my hand to Jesus with a, “Mmh, yes Lawd.”
Eventually I cast off my weighty burden (as we all know by now) and I initiated an open door life policy. You want me to work extra hours? Sure! You, other theater company, want me to manage your website? Why not? Publish a blog on my own and decide that I MUST share something every week? What could go wrong? More freelance unpaid writing? How can I resist?!
However, if you’ll notice in my list of activities, no where do I mention, “Take time for myself.” Eventually all that activity was bound to catch up with me.
It did. Hard. Last week, I suddenly felt like I couldn’t do another thing. And yet I was so obligated beyond a reasonable capacity. I was pissy and aloof with my friends and co-workers who I love so dearly, completely exhausted and on top of all of this, I had closed off any space for Love. AND ISN’T THAT THE WHOLE POINT?!
Suddenly, coming home every night to a loving albeit impossibly demanding partner, drinking too much whiskey and watching hours of The Office on Netflix didn’t sound so bad.
Now let me be clear, I took on all this responsibility because I LOVE these projects and individually they make me happy. I have the best job in the whole wide world and I’m totally digging the other companies I give my time to. This blog has been a gift. It has helped me cope with this confusing and scary new phase of my life more than I could have ever imagined.
But I was overrun, overworked, and wearing pair of bitter pants that made my butt look lumpy.
Love should never be a burden. Sure, Love is hard and makes you crazy but it’s a battle you want to fight every day, right? Like my grandfather says, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” (Quoting him is weird for me, for the record.)
I’ve always put a lot of pressure on myself. Even as a kid, in those impossibly rare moments when I would do something “bad” like get a poor grade or that one time I snuck out and got caught, my mom would never really punish me. She said that I would make myself feel way worse than any time-out or punishment could.
So I read the WordPress email that nagged, “Hey Tim, you’re next blog is due. Don’t let yourself down,” with more anxiety than this thing should ever have caused me. I decided not to write anything. I know it was the right decision but still I felt guilty. I know that it doesn’t have any affect on any one else if I publish or not, but I set out to accomplish a goal and this felt like giving up. I don’t do that.
I recognize now that I need to give myself a break. I can’t be everything to every one. It’s ok to take some time off just because I need it.
I’m putting my blog on hold for awhile and making time for me. I need to recharge my batteries. And I’m giving myself permission to say that. I’m so proud of this project and taking time off does not mean I’m quitting. In fact, the slight twinge of sadness I feel tells me it will be back eventually.
But I’m going to allow myself the luxury of free time. And maybe it will be filled with a new exciting romance. But even if it means more sitting at home watching TV and cuddling with my cats, I’m cool with that too.
Already missing me? Here, you can relive all of our best moments together:
Winter must be cold for those for those with no warm memories.
(Identify that quote and we’re in love forever! Two answers are acceptable)