On Sunday, I took the day off. It was Mother's Day, after all, and a day of rest, so I felt justified. I read, played games, chatted with my family as we watched Harry Potter movies and cleaned off my desk - a project I'd been wanting to do but had been having trouble finding enough time to do well.
Yesterday, I was on a roll. I jumped into the day with uncharacteristic not-a-morning-person energy, patting myself on the back for that day of rest that had left me energized and ready to hit the ground running.
Then we had email issues, but I managed to get a blog written and posted. I was on my way to the post for this site when the phone rang. My daughter had a fever. Could I pick her up?
Of course I could.
My first clue that she wasn't terribly ill came when she texted to see what was taking me so long. And when I picked her up, she told me that she actually felt better than she had the day before, but school policy dictated that if she had a fever, she needed to be sent home. And, if she was going to be home sick, I felt as though I should cancel my discretionary activities and hang out with her.
Unfortunately, work somehow ended up getting swept away with the discretionary activities. I watched the video of a webinar I'd signed up for last week, but a combination of tech issues, difficulty putting words on the page and - ahem - motivational issues - meant that I spent more time on Pinterest and Facebook than on that second blog. I wrote the song that had been floating around in my head since I'd started the laundry at 8 AM, but not much else.
Such is the beauty of working from home.
And so today, you'd think I'd be raring and ready to go the moment my feet hit the floor. Not so. I blame the cold weather for the lazy start that got me to the keyboard at 9 AM instead of 8 AM because after all, if I didn't blame the cold weather, I'd have to take responsibility for my inaction.
The thing is, these "late" starts aren't all that uncommon. I am not a morning person, and while some days are like yesterday - energy-pumped fresh starts - most days, I ease into the day, a luxury I didn't have when I was working outside the home.
But if I'm honest, I have to admit that when I was working in schools, the days ebbed and flowed much as they do now. Some days, I was on fire, burning through my to-do list with amazing alacrity. Other days, it was one step forward, two steps back. I don't know why I expect that it should be any different now that I am working at home.
I guess expect isn't the right word. The verb I am looking for is "fear."
What if I spent the entire day on the sofa with a book? What if I napped and snacked and went out for Starbucks and got absolutely nothing done? What if day after day I got to the end of the day and had nothing to show for it?
Those who know me are shaking their heads, knowing that in the absence of extenuating circumstances, this would not - could not - happen. I simply wouldn't allow it, if for no other reason than the fact that I'd be so bored by all of the inactivity that the monotony alone would spur me into action. My body may be perfectly content to nap on the sofa, but my brain runs circles around it, coaxing - then prodding - me into action.
So why am I so afraid of a day - or, God forbid, two! - spent leisurely?
My fingers, flying over the keyboard for much of this post, stopped at the end of that question, holding tightly to the answer, which is complex. Early retirement, never intended to be the end of my work life. So many ideas, so many things I want to do that wasted time seems inexcusable. Fear of laziness, monotony, wasted potential.
Fortunately, the solution is much simpler. Keep moving forward. Stop occasionally to take stock of where you are and where you're going. Don't waste time beating yourself up over what you haven't accomplished. Instead, decide where you are going from here.
It all sounds so logical, one thing flowing right into the next. Fear is counterproductive - it hinders the flow and limits the possibilities - and so I need to determine if it is reasonable, and brush it aside when it is not.
And so, fearlessly, I'm going forth into Tuesday.