It’s OK to take a day (or two)

Twitter message from KC Green

It’s hard to take a break when you’ve got a gig on the side. Balancing a full-time job and writing, reviewing, and the tech stuff I can never find enough time for is pretty tough, and it leaves me feeling like I’m working all the time. The constant pressure to deliver is stressful.

Taking time off feels like I’m cheating people out of something. Like that’s one more day later that the book will be done, or one less worthwhile article for people to read. Every day that passes takes with it news that I haven’t read, or on which I haven’t commented; thoughts I haven’t shared; stories I haven’t told.

And somehow it’s worse that the time has been forced. I didn’t really do any work this weekend, but that R&R wasn’t scheduled or planned. I meant to be productive, but the motivation wasn’t there, and I lacked the energy to force myself. I rested, and felt guilty.

And then I saw this Twitter message. It wasn’t a flash of insight, or anything I hadn’t thought before, but it was reaffirming. Writing and doing all this extra stuff I’ve been doing has been fun, and it has provided me an outlet and some balance to my life. Yeah, I constantly wish I could do and accomplish more, but it’s not like I’m ruining people’s day by not getting something done. What happens if I’m a day late? Less free stuff on the ‘Net?

I’m not going to let this turn into an excuse for laziness, but hopefully I’ll sleep a bit easier tonight. I needed some unplanned R&R, and I had it whether I liked it or not. Time to relax–work can wait until tomorrow.

Twitter message by the illustrious KC Green.

The Pressures of Antiquing

April and I celebrated our second anniversary over the weekend and decided that we would spend it here in Springfield doing the touristy things we never do. Since we live here, there’s a lot to the city we take for granted and never experience, so we wanted to spend the day seeing the sights, such as they are, and eating really fancy food. Two of the places we visited were little shops we had walked past on occasion, but which had always been closed when we were near. On Saturday, they were open.

The thing about little shops, the really frustrating and unavoidable thing, is that you’re easily noticed in them. The shopkeeper sees you right away, says hello, offers to help, hovers nearby, suggests you look at and perhaps even purchase things. This is all well and good–their job is to sell things, after all–but let’s be honest here: April and I had no real intention of buying anything. We just can’t afford that much. We especially can’t afford it in shops that are horribly overpriced and stocked with garbage.

But we felt guilty, and we hemmed and hawwed and wondered if we ought to buy something after all. Here was this nice old man, just trying to make his way in the world, with a shop filled with crap and nobody buying anything. Antique shops are like the slightly-less-poor beggar’s tin cup.

We left, because if we bought antiques then we’d soon have to open a shop of our own just to get by in this crazy, filled-with-overpriced-garbage kind of world. But we felt bad about it, and here I am two days later still thinking about it. Man, I have got to lay off the antiquing…

Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s not

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about an old failed relationship and all my self-recriminations. I have a tendency to blame myself when things go sour, and try to figure out what I can do to improve myself so the mistakes of my past are not repeated.

For the first time in regards to this relationship and my consideration of it, however, it occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t my fault. Maybe the girl wasn’t perfect after all, and maybe it wasn’t all my fault. Maybe it just is what it is.

It takes two to tango, as the cliché goes, and it’s never all one person’s fault. Examine your history and learn from it, but you’ve got to learn to let go and move on too. Don’t dwell on your failures.

Take them in, embrace them, examine and learn from them. Learn to say, “This is failure, this is pain, this is hurt, and now I know it. Now I can let it go, and move on.” If you never release your failure to let it rest in the past, you’ll continue to fail and be a failure.

Don’t take it all on yourself. Sometimes, things just happen, and for what comfort it gives you, know that our Lord is sovereign. He can turn anything to the good, and he wants the best for you. When things suck, just work on returning your focus to Jesus, and soldier on. Before you know it, things will be better again, and you’ll look back on the months and/or years of pain and realize how relatively short that period was.

Maybe it was you, and maybe it was me. Chances are, it was both, and we’re both sorry. Let’s leave it at that and move on with our lives.