Like many moms, my guilty pleasures are quite tame. Going to the grocery store alone. Taking a shower without a kid coming in to ask me a question. Drinking my whole cup of coffee in the morning without having to reheat it. (Truly, if I had known at 20 what would excite me at 40, I would have been really depressed!).
But lately, the dreams have been expanding. Not only do I want to go to the grocery store alone, I don’t want to feel rushed while I’m there. I’d like to take that shower, and have a hot cup of coffee. And fulfilling these little dreams has led to the expansion of much greater ones. As my kids are spending more time in the “asset column” of our family register, I find my mind free to wander towards – (sharp intake of breath) what I want to do!
With following my passion to write in mind, I have decided that 2012 is the Year of Nancy. I announced this to my husband and our close friends one evening during our weekly Friday happy hour, a little at-home pub we call “Freaky Friday.”
“How will that be different from last year?” asked my friend, a fellow mom who is supposed to be on my team.
“Well,” I answered, “I’ll mostly do the same things I did last year, but without the guilt.”
“Good luck with that,” she said.
So far, things are off to a good start. I’ve always allowed myself a fairly steady stream of “continuous small treats” but I’m trying now to enjoy them guilt-free. Besides that, and most importantly, I’m making time to write, to read, and to really pay attention to me. A few times, the guilt monster has come calling (you’ve been gone for 2 hours now, you should get home; you should get up from the computer and organize a game for the kids…). Each time, I’ve consciously asked myself if what I am feeling is the real, important guilt that shows you are a human, or the made-up kind that is fueled by motherhood and anxiety. I’ve been able to summarily dismiss about 10 episodes of guilt, and it’s only January 17th!
My husband, a wonderful and supportive partner, is wary of the Year of Nancy. As I jetted off to the gym Saturday morning leaving him to french toast duty, he had just one question:
“But where did the guilt go?”
What would you do today if you knew you could do it guilt free?