Sunday, May 26, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Every spring I seem to experience a slump. I don’t know how else to describe it. Cocooning maybe.  I travel a ton for work, and to visit friends and family around the country, and it is usually following a long spate of travel that I come home, have some down time, and feel the strong urge to wear yoga pants all day and not leave the house. This usually looks like hours of watching old episodes of a favorite tv show, or reading the stack of books piled next to my bed. Sometimes I even manifest an illness to give me an excuse to lay around all day. I don’t want to see friends or talk on the phone. I don’t want to cook. I want to eat ice cream and take long baths.

For most of May, I have been in full-on slump mode. A bad cold kept me in bed for much of a recent weekend, and though I rallied to get those things done that needed to be, including a trip to Vegas to speak to young adult cancer survivors, and some pressing work and writing projects, I have also spent long hours on the sofa playing solitaire on my phone while watching television. I saw two movies in one week, and did a lot of laundry and organizing. These are all clearly avoidance tactics.

My book deadline is looming, and as this is my third draft, I am feeling a fair amount of pressure to get it right this time, and a bit overwhelmed by what it will entail to do that. I should be writing, and I guess technically I am (though this isn’t my book), but I’m slumping instead. I have forced myself to do a bit of clean-up editing and some outlining of the last three chapters, but it’s not the productive chapter a day schedule that I managed when I was in Hawaii a month ago.

It is so rare for me to have two weekends in one month not only in town, but with little on the calendar, and I should be making the most of them. Here’s the thing. . . maybe I am. Maybe slumping is what I need right now to re-energize. Maybe indulging my laziness during some rare downtime shouldn’t produce guilt, but relaxation instead. Maybe I need some mindless activity for a while so I can focus and write later.

My chiropractor was adjusting me this week and he did some energy clearing as well, which he has never really done before. I’m not sure what prompted it, but one of the things he cleared was around this very issue. He asked me to repeat the following phrase over and over again while he did some work, until he felt it was cleared: “I am a good person, and I deserve some time for myself.”

The first time I could barely say it because I was choked up, crying with the realization that I really always feel as if I need to be productive in some way. This has always been true for me, but it has become a more pressing feeling since I began working for myself. When I had a job, I could often leave work at work and enjoy my time away including weekends, but now it sometimes feels as I am never off. The pressure I put on myself to do more, write more, read more, know more and produce more is always there.

Maybe that’s why spring cleaning exists. We clean our homes to get ready for summer, and we should clean out old, limiting beliefs as well. I AM a good person, and I DO deserve some time for myself, even when a book deadline is looming, a new business is being started, and a six month consulting contract is drawing to a close making a new source of income somewhat pressing. If I don’t take time for me, I will be useless to complete any of those other items as well.