Quote Friday #16

October 27, 2017

Hey hey! Happy weekend to you and yours!

I’m home alone this weekend and rather looking forward to it. I have a list of about twenty things I want to do – let’s see if I can do, well, maybe ten.

This is not exactly a quote, more of an excerpt from an Ask Polly article I was reading today. It would be better if you read the whole article, which you can find here. I like the idea of deciding to do (or not do) things despite the fact that that might mean you are lazy and undeserving. I may clean the bedroom/clear out the car/pot plants/return library books/put old computer on Gumtree/finish craft project/blog/cook lentil sausage rolls/banana bread this weekend. Or I may not. I may just lie in the park and read a book. And that will be OK too.

“In April of this year, something shifted. I was juggling too much. One of my dogs died. I kept having stress headaches and mood swings and other strange afflictions that I’d never had before. I felt ill a lot of the time. I wasn’t sleeping well. And even though I had lost the steady soundtrack of “You keep fucking up!” I was carrying around a deeper belief that I was destined to rush and do mediocre work and disappoint myself and others. I didn’t want to be good to myself and give myself a break, because that meant I was lazy or undeserving of the success I’ve had.

But something strange happened: I decided to slow down anyway, even if that might mean I was lazy and undeserving.

I started asking myself and my husband, “What if I never wrote another book?” and “What if I just decided not to finish this high-pressure project?” I started to say things like, “What if we made less money?” and “What if I wore this one pair of pants for the rest of my life?” and “What if I just stand still and appreciate this day and do no work at all?” I started to try on radically different visions of my life. What if I could chose anything? How should I spend the time I have left?

Part of being good to yourself means asking really strange, sweeping questions about what you truly want, and resisting the urge to factor in what some outdated version of yourself wants and what anyone else wants. I had to set aside what my husband might want and what my editor might want and what my boss might want. But what was even more important for me was learning to set aside what some imagined mob might think — not just the detractors (totally invented by my mind, of course, because no one fucking cares!), but also the imagined wide world that believes that people like me should ACT LIKE THIS and DO THIS and SAY THIS.”

Seriously, do yourself a favour and just read the whole thing (here, remember?) . I love Polly. I have a big fat girl crush on her.

And now I am off to eat ice-cream with Milo and watch Big Mouth on Netflix, then read Bleaker House until I fall asleep, with Neo leaning against my ankles

x Iz

More about isabelrobinson

Isabel is a writer from Melbourne. She loves long train journeys, Vegemite toast and cryptic crosswords, preferably all at once.

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