Wow, I feel like my title is such a daring confession. Let me expand on it. This past Saturday I spent the entire day reading “Divergent.” I wore my PJ’s and stayed in bed with my electric blanket.
Really, the heart of my confession lies in what I didn’t do. I, a mom/writer/teacher/homemaker didn’t cook, or clean, or grade anything, or edit my manuscript, or tackle any of the hundred or so odd jobs there are to do around the house.
I was a rebel and I actually had to push through some guilt to accomplish my day of reading. My in-bred Catholic guilt sent up red flare waring signs throughout the day about the path to hell being paved by idleness. (I ignored these since my path has already been paved in so many much more fun ways.) I imagined a coalition against crappy mothers gathering to come by my house and burn a “didn’t engage her children in stimulating activities” or “didn’t feed her kids healthy food” brand into my skin. I fought hard with my own demons for my day of idle joy, but it was really important to me that I did it.
It was less about what I did, and more about me taking control of my own time.
The fact that many other people and my own sense of obligation controlled my time became glaringly apparent when I started writing. Before the novel I just completed, I wrote a screen play. An idea that had been brewing in my head sort of came together, and I wanted to get it out of my head and on paper ASAP. I didn’t drop any of my other duties, but I spent any and all my spare time writing for a few weeks. This did not sit well with a lot of people. Even if I had done everything I needed to do, it still irritated them that I had the time (or the gall) to decide that writing was that important.
Surprisingly, this included not only family, but friends too. When I excitedly offered the screen play to some girlfriends to read, their response was,”wow, you must have a LOT of free time.”
How you use your time, whether or not you get to chose how you use your time, and whether you feel the need to justify how you use your time speaks volumes about how much you value yourself and the things that are important to you. It is a lesson I am still learning and experimenting with.
This past Saturday I did something that not every adult would admit to, but I think we all secretly want to do. I owned my time and I did something with it that I knew the majority would not approve of. I did something that might have no redeeming value in the eyes off all those around me, but it mattered to me.