You don’t owe anyone a thing

I took two days off from writing. The first day was hard. I didn’t really have anything to say, we were busy most of Saturday anyway, and by the time I remembered that I didn’t even do the daily prompt, it was late and I needed to do a bunch of other things before bedtime. And yesterday I told myself that it’s ok. I don’t need to write every single day, no matter how cool it is to have a long streak of posting.

Streaks are cool, as long as they aren’t taxing on my emotional and mental wellbeing. But I have been strangled by feeling like I HAD to do something that wasn’t coming to me easily. I had a 55 day streak of blogging over the summer, but I eventually had to let it go because I was driving all day and then too tired to write. I felt this horrible guilt like I had let someone down. But I hadn’t. I didn’t even let myself down. If I need to take a day or some time from anything, then it’s totally ok. I am not good at giving myself this grace and time to recharge.

As a result, I am burned out. My wife and I were talking about this the other day and I realized we have essentially been sprinting since August when we picked the kids up in Kentucky, got them ready for school, they started school, we went to the retirement party, we came back, we did things at her work for weeks, we had multiple events in that time, we continued through October with soccer, then it was Halloween, then November came and we had more events and things to do, and here we are, just days from Christmas. Where did the time go? How can it be December already?

In some ways it feels like life is passing me by, even though I know I am present for most of it in a way that I never was before. I couldn’t be when I was just in survival mode. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how I made it. When I first got out, I spent too much time reliving it and worrying about what was already over. And now I reflect on it to see how far I’ve come, without dwelling on it so much that I feel sad again.

So I guess I am the one who needs to keep reminding myself that I don’t owe anyone a thing. Although I have sort of learned this lesson, it is still a bit of a struggle some days.

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