Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Gift of a Year, Six Months In

Last summer when I was underemployed and stuck, I hired a life coach. During one of our sessions, she asked what I would do if I suddenly had all the money I needed and didn’t have to worry about my career anymore. I said that I would probably do nothing.

I was tired. I have been working since I was ten years old, and when I wasn’t working, I was going to school, which is also work. The life coach said, "Why don't you try that for a year?" I replied, "Because I need to eat, and preferably to sleep indoors." She said, “What if you just worked at whatever job you end up with, and that’s it. The rest of the time, you do nothing. Just give yourself the gift of a year?”

Then you know what she said? The thing that sent me over the edge and into a fit of tears?

She said, “I would like to see you try for a year to take care of yourself the way you took care of your dad when he was sick and to treat yourself with the same patience and kindness that you showed him.”

I moved to DC six months ago today, and I decided to give myself that year.

Tonight I went to happy hour with some of my coworkers. As I was leaving, one of them said, "You're always doing something. Where are you off to now?" She's right. I am always doing something. I have been living it up for the last six months, and it is an amazing thing to give yourself permission to do whatever you feel like doing.

I've written many times about learning to feel your own pain. Sometimes it can be just as hard to learn how to feel joy. Especially when you don't always believe you deserve it.

Six more months of doing nothing. Care to join me?


Didi said...

That is awesome! It's my goal for getting out of debt in the next couple of years - take a year off. My husband wants to do the same. We're just trying to figure out the timing so we're not completely broke so we can do the traveling we want to do. Enjoy the rest of your year!

Melvin said...

heck, the rest of the year? the rest of your life. enjoy it. btw, you are gorgeous!

dcalex said...

Congrats on your inspiring half-year of nothingness!