Yesterday I spent most of the morning tinkering around the house. I did a little laundry, I fixed a nutcracker, ordered a shower cap from amazon. You know, trivial things.
I can’t even remember what the hell I did for two hours…
You know what else?
I loved it.
I made the kids some lunch, fed the chickens, prepped some Starbucks cards for the kids’ teachers.
Before I get to my point, let’s get this out into the open…
I’m in a good financial place thanks to my husband’s income which means we don’t have to stress about being homeless or feeding the children. All of that could change in a moment but even if it did, I’d still be sitting in a large amount of white, cisgender, able bodied privilege, pure and simple.
That said, over the years I’ve judged myself for this strange joy I feel while tinkering.
I have denied it, wished it away and resisted.
Oh and I also repotted a couple of plants.
There has always been an undertone of guilt while reading a book for pleasure that whispers “you should be writing a book,” or while folding laundry that lectures, “all the successful coaches hire people to fold their laundry so they can spend more time helping people,” or while boiling mac and cheese that atones “you should be making enough money by now to hire a personal chef so you can run for congress.”
You get the idea.
Over the years there has always been something more IMPORTANT for me to be doing than the thing I actually want to do.
Last night I cuddled my cat. She is so fluffy and lovely. Her purr is like a balm. She rubs her cheek against mine and it is bliss I tell you.
While I cuddled her I thought about my obsession with doing IMPORTANT things.
I am 47 years old and my life has been a neverending race to accomplish ever more IMPORTANT things.
And you know what? In that moment while my cat purred in my ear, I wished I had felt important enough, in my 47 years, to give myself permission to cuddle fluffy cats.
Because this obsession of mine with accomplishment hasn’t contributed to my happiness or even my success. It has only ever been one thing: a rejection of my own humanity.
I am here.
I am human.
I am important.
I am also as trivial as a grain of sand in a vast expanse of beach.
There is nothing to prove, nothing to earn, nothing I could ever do or not do to change what has always been true about me: I deserve to be here.
I wish it hadn’t taken so long for me to get it. But that too is part of my humanity… sometimes it takes me a long time to get things.
The good news is I have the rest of my life to savor whatever it is that makes me happy. I can write a book or I can read one. I can fold some laundry. And I can cuddle a cat.
This holiday, give yourself the gift of self-acceptance.
And do whatever it is that brings you joy.
Because just like me, you are here, you are human, you are important, and you are also as trivial as a grain of sand in a vast expanse of beach.
And you deserve, more than anything you could ever do or say or prove, to be here.