Welcome to #momlife where anything that you buy especially for yourself came from Zulily and took at least a month to arrive.
As it happens, I purchased a few ridiculously beautiful adult coloring books last month on the Zulily app. There's one random Disney collection, one Beauty and The Beast book and one Alice In Wonderland book.
I also went ahead and got a pack of 40 fine line markers, but I will probably grab some colored pencils soon too. And I told myself that these things would be just for me. As in ‘not for my 5-year-old’.
There's just one problem.
All of these supposedly stress-busting purchases assume that I am actually going to find the time to color. Just like all of the other screen-free hobbies I want to attend to. Like reading.
Yeah, I'm still working on that.
A couple of days ago, I took some time off from writing to take my 5-year-old out to tea with her Nana. Which looked something like this:
This is a tea venue I've been wanting to try for a few years. A former friend had invited us to go with her last year, but canceled on the scheduled morning and never rescheduled with us.
I was happy to finally get out there, and I was even happier to be able to pay for the whole thing too. It's nice to invite my ex's mother out with us and not feel like a mooch since she's done so much for us over the years.
It was a great day, despite some of my fears about taking a break from my work. We dined on delicious new treats, like a garden tomato pie and shortbread rounds.
I even indulged in a luscious scone plate, and the server told us a story about how the Queen of England likes to eat her scones. Broken in half, curd on one side, strawberries and cream on the other. (To be fair, I haven't fact checked that story.)
But guess what. I returned home knowing a few different things. For one thing, I wanted to go back there. I'm going to see if my local friend Samantha Serum would like to go over the summer, with or without our kids. Actually, both ways would be a lot of fun.
And I definitely need to make more time for that.
I also returned home with a desire to collect, like to collect flowery china. which was interesting because... when would I even use them?
Here’s what actually happened when we got home. I unboxed the coloring books and got to work on my writing.
And then about 45 minutes before a conference call, I contemplated stopping my writing to eat a late dinner.
Dinner was not an easy decision.
And it was one of those moments that once again reminded me of how attached to my work I really am.
There's this overwhelming desperation that keeps me working rather than taking time off. I tell myself that I can't fail.
I have to keep moving and getting ahead.
The truth, of course, is that I don't know if there is any sort of end in sight. I'm not sure when or if I'll ever slow down.
But I do think I will keep working on carving out a little me time. Never say never. Perhaps I will take an afternoon to color a page. Or read a book. And even take an afternoon tea.
If I learned anything this week from our tea time, it's that I still crave a beautiful life. I want to give myself occasional permission to indulge in delicious food on gorgeous plates without telling myself that I don't deserve it.
As a fat woman and single mom, I struggle a lot with that. Or even the fact that I work from home and use an unconventional platform to make a living... such thoughts crowd my brain and tell me I don't really deserve them at all.
Maybe I'll deserve them when I'm earning $200K and have carved out a more sustainable career. Perhaps I'll deserve them if I get down to 114 pounds. And that Royal Albert teaware? I'd better learn how to keep a prettier and cleaner house first.
These are the sort of things I tell myself to keep me from doing more that I love. I tell myself that maybe one day I'll deserve them, but definitely not yet.
And it's a bad habit that I am often wanting to break. I want to look at tea time, coloring, and even good food on fancy china as investments in me. And so, I have to remind myself that there's real value in doing what we love. Even if our grownup brains say something is silly or a waste of time.
I could probably afford to waste a little more time, anyway. And if it means doing more that you love? Maybe you can afford it too.