I have a hard time finding ‘work/life balance’, because I work from home and I love my work. Sometimes I’m more stressed when I don’t work than when I work all day and half the night.
But I do try to allow myself some guilt-free indulgences every now and then. The indulgences are easy. The ‘guilt-free’ part? Um… not so much.
I’ve read a lot of motivational books, so when I’m enjoying a treat or taking a break and I catch myself feeling guilty, my inner motivational speaker pipes up: “Do you really think you’re going to be lying on your deathbed thinking, ‘Gee, I really wish I’d eaten broccoli instead of that ice cream thirty years ago’ or ‘Dang, I wish I’d worked longer hours’?”
According to the books, that’s supposed to work; but my twisted mind just can’t resist rhetorical questions like that.
I immediately imagine myself weighing five hundred pounds and dying in agony from diabetes-induced gangrene in my extremities, heartily wishing I’d chosen the broccoli instead. Or being a hungry 92-year-old huddled in a cardboard box in the rain, cursing myself for not working harder while I still had some earning capacity. A vivid imagination isn’t always a good thing.
I try to comfort myself with the knowledge that I love writing and I can continue to work for the rest of my life if I need to (as long as I don’t get dementia, and that’s a whole ’nother nightmare). But the way book sales are plummeting these days, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to make a living as an author even next year, never mind in a few decades.
That’s when I start to envy people who coast through life doing whatever they damn well please without worrying about the consequences. They just assume that somebody will take care of them when it all blows up, and somebody usually does.
But not always. And since I’m capable of foreseeing catastrophes caused by goofing off for half a day once a week, I can only imagine how wild-eyed I’d be if I completely dropped the ball and took a whole weekend-
I can’t actually imagine it. Because if I could cause a personal apocalypse just by taking a few hours off or eating a box of leftover Halloween candy (not that I’d actually do that… okay; yes, I would), how could the outcome get any worse?
’Scuse me, gotta run — there’s a junk-food-and-binge-reading session calling my name!
Does anybody else get the guilts from goofing off?
Book 14 update: It was a great writing week! I hit Chapter 30 and I’m working on the last few details to wrap up the plot. I’m on a roll! (And I’m not goofing off. Just sayin’.) 😉