Monday 22 October 2012

Innocence Sentenced With Guilt

I had last Friday off so decided to give myself a three-day-do-absolutely-nothing-weekend.

But the problem with long weekends and being used to working so hard all the time, is that I can't seem to overcome the feeling that I'm doing something wrong when I let myself sit around doing nothing.

It feels criminal.

The offence of innocently taking time off is sentenced with guilt.

By the time I got over this feeling, it was Sunday afternoon. What a waste. I spent the whole long weekend feeling like I should be getting stuff done and didn't relax AT ALL.

The biggest thing stopping me from relaxing was that I felt I should be utilizing this time to write. I did write, a bit, but the guilt of not feeling like writing much meant I wasted a lot of time on social media pretending to write. GAH! Why couldn't I just lap up and enjoy the three blissful days of freedom?

Mind you, I did end up watching the entire first season of REVENGE. And now I'm totally hooked. Great. Another TV show to take away from my reading time. Sigh.

Are you generally an always-have-to-do-something kind of person? How do you feel when given rare time to relax?


  1. I have spent years struggling to give myself permission to relax. I wasn't always like that.

    From 23-26 I lived with a workaholic; he not only worked hard but then played hard when he took holidays. The middle ground was mitigated with binge drinking.

    We both worked seven days a week for a large chunk of the time we were together. On the rare occasion I sat down to read a book he'd give me grief about being lazy, so bit by bit all the pleasures I'd treasured for so long (reading, writing and sleeping in the notable ones) disappeared from my every day existence.

    I sunk into a horrible pit of depression which demotivated me from doing anything, other than work.

    His specter haunted me for years. I'd hear him muttering about me being lazy when I slept in. I'd hear him muttering I was wasting time every opportunity I took to open a book. The only thing I didn't let him kill was my writing. It was the first thing I did when we broke up - enrolled in a writing course.

    Now I don't have his voice in my head, but I fear the work hard/play hard dichotomy is deeply engrained in me. I try to let myself relax, take time off, but I struggle with it. I find once I'm in "down time" I then don't want to drag myself back up out of it.

    Perhaps we need to have a little down time every day, bask in small pleaures, so it's not such a hard thing to accept when we have three days to enjoy it?

  2. I have a lot of trouble taking time off, too, but I rarely feel guilty about it. In fact, I feel guilty for working so much, but I enjoy it so much. This is only with writing/writing-related tasks, though. I have no trouble taking time off from my day job!

  3. there you go! The whole first season of Revenge! If I had 3 days I'd def. write. Maybe take one night to relax. But it might've done you more good than you'll ever realize.

  4. Oh man, I am right there with you, girl!!! I would spend my whole time stressed. But reading endlessly and watching a series sounds great, too!

  5. Ew! I want to watch that Revenge show! And girl! I hear ya so much. I've been busting it so hard that when I DO "catch up," and I can sit around, I don't know what to do with myself--LOL! :D That was me this weekend... what to do???

    Ahh, I don't know the solution. Revenge sounds good. :D ((hugs)) <3

  6. I hear you. I once described being a writer as feeling like a perpetual student, with a never-ending homework assignment!

    I have to keep reminding myself that recharging the mental batteries by resting makes me more productive when I get back into the fray.

  7. I'm too old to let myself feel guilty about taking a break. I wanna take a break? By God I'll take a break.

  8. I make sure i give myself enough time every week to just relax, so it's become part of my schedule, so then i don't feel guilty when i'm chillaxin.

  9. I have no problem shutting down and just chilling. Guess I'm just wired that way.

  10. I'm with you. Free time is so rare that I almost don't know what to do with myself and I love Revenge but am currently obsessed with Damages.

  11. That's me! I'm so Type A, I have to be doing something productive every single minute. The only time I can relax and let go is if I completely leave the house for a while.

  12. “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. “ John Lubbock

    I can read it, but can't often put it in action (or inaction!!)

  13. You'd do better with a week off :) I sure did.


  14. As I said elsewhere, no, I don't usually feel guilty. I will admit that lately if I've watched a bunch of DVDs instead of doing creative stuff, I feel guilty. But I always allow myself to watch a little bit at least, while eating dinner. ;)


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris