My favorite self indulgence is milk chocolate covered graham crackers dunked in a hot latte. It’s decadent, creamy, rich, chocolaty, and delicious. I only let myself order that at Starbucks when I’m having a particularly bad day or when I feel the need to celebrate.
I’m a grown up. I make my own food decisions. I know what’s good for me and what’s not. I know I can allow myself the occasional treat and yet, when I order that particular indulgence I feel guilty from the first tentative dip to the final delectable lick of my chocolate covered fingers.
Today I opened one of my novels in progress. I read through what I had written, made some edits, and wrote some more.
It felt unbelievably good. It felt good to beat the procrastination bug. It felt good to defy my fear. And it felt good to see that what I’d written was as good as I remembered.
In fact, the whole thing felt downright indulgent.
I know that part of my blockage has to do with a fear of failure or success, but now I’m convinced that my biggest issue is that ever present mommy guilt, you know, the one that admonishes you whenever you take time to do something for yourself.
I get my hair cut every 8 months or so. I never get a manicure/pedicure/facial. I don’t go to the movies by myself. For the longest time the only alone time I ever got was a weekly trip to the grocery store. So now that I’m a freelancer I constantly feel that spending any time not working towards something that will directly benefit my family is a waste of my time.
Working on a novel feels like the ultimate self indulgence. I’m doing it for me, just me, no one else. It’s my story, written on my time, with little to no hope of ever benefiting anyone else. I feel guilty before writing, while writing, and after writing. And so I never get around to adding to the stories.
Today, emboldened by the responses to the post I wrote yesterday, I didn’t wait until I had done all my work, I didn’t let my usual chores distract me. I jumped right in. I put everything out of mind and focused on my novel.
I loved every wonderful guilt inducing moment. And when I shut down my computer I almost had to resist the urge to lick my fingers clean.