You know how we all have those archetypes in our minds of ourselves at our worst? Those visions of yourself that flash by your imagination sometimes, right before you think “I will never allow myself to become THAT.” For me, it’s the image of myself as The Harried Mom–think tight, stained sweatpants, sloppy hair, no makeup and my husband’s shirt with *looks down* ah yes, a child’s snot on the sleeve.
Beyond the image itself, the most terrible aspect of the caricature of myself I have become is the self-pitying way I talk about the lack of time I have for myself. Between parenting, a big project at work, a new book, and several bits of secret news that I’ll get back to you all soon about, I’m running out of time to think straight. But you know who ultimately decides how to spend my time? Who is the boss of me? Who is the HR department of my life that I get to go to fill out grievance forms for unjust treatment?
That’d be me!
So I’m doing something I haven’t done in a while: stepping back. For 6 whole weeks, I’m not going to work on any big writing projects, not going to beta read (beyond what I’m already committed to) not going to read any craft books or analyze any books in my genre.
Because it would only cause me more stress to not have a time limit on this hiatus, I decided on 6 weeks, and then I’ve got a project I’m excited to sink my teeth into. But I’ve done all I can with my new novel, I’ve sent it to beta readers and I’m happy not to have an excuse to tinker with it any more. Taking some meaningful rest starting today not only feels right; in this productivity-is-king culture, it’s a sweet act of rebellion.