Riddle me this:
Neither my roommate nor myself left the house today. She spent the day in her room and I spent the day on the couch watching Netflix (The Following and then Three Wives, One Husband – I do have thoughts on both if you’re interested). It was glorious.
When 8pm rolled around I looked at my roommate’s closed door and thought, “Good for her! She had a full week, a long Friday, and a busy Saturday. Good for her for spending some time resting and recharging.” In the next moment I looked at myself and started listing all of the things I could have gotten done today and all of the ways I should’ve have rested better or differently.
Here’s the riddle (that’s really just an introspective question): If my roommate and I had pretty much identical weeks (which we did), why is she a champion of self love and self care for taking a restful day while I am a slothful loser for doing the same exact thing?
Glennon Doyle once wrote in an Instagram comment (I love G so much I am now quoting her Instagram comments) that we creators and artists do not need to defend our work. She said that it is not our job to hover around what we have created clarifying and defending and making sure that everyone understands. She said that we need to take our cues from God when He created the whole entire everything. As creators, made in the image of God, we should adopt God’s creation pattern – create, call it good, rest.
It hasn’t been super difficult for me to adopt this attitude with my creative stuff, especially not my writing. I may be nervous for someone to read my works of fiction, but I have never felt that I had to defend a story or convince someone to like my characters. I obviously have no problem adopting this hands-off attitude with my blurry Instagram account. I’m also content creating English lessons for my garage English class, calling them good, and resting.
It’s been harder for me, however, to adopt this attitude in some other areas of my life. While I am able to confidently make decisions in the moment, later on, after the fact and even after everything has gone well, I will look back and over-analyze. I will essentially beat myself up in my mind with all of the imaginary ways I failed.
I pointed out to a good friend the other day that she and I both tend to hold ourselves to higher standards than we hold other people. Frankly, it’s exhausting. It is mentally and emotionally exhausting.
But guess what? I am the boss of my mental and emotional health and so I am working to make a change. One way I am making a change is with this frequent reminder: “You can’t go back and change the past, Suzanne. All you can do is apologize if necessary and keep moving forward.”
I am learning how to give myself grace.
Today I want to rest, call it good, and then… rest again (it’s bed time, y’all!) so that tomorrow I can work, call it good, and rest. I do want to be self-aware and intentional. I do not want to be a critical over-analyzer. There is a difference. This week (and this life), let’s create, call it good, and then rest. Get stuff done, call it good, rest. Apologize when necessary, rest again. Trust ourselves. Forward motion and positivity, friends. Into a new week we go.