I’ve decided to take the day off today. Not from writing this or from the other work I have but from the kind of work that has nothing to do with career or income: the work I continually give myself – and I think we all continually give ourselves, without, for the most part, realising it, which takes up so much energy.
It’s the work of being good, fitting in, observing convention, of proving oneself and improving oneself. It’s the not picking your nose in traffic, it’s the sucking in your stomach, it’s the 30 press ups, 40 sit ups and 50 squats, it’s waking up and starting the day with a fucking gratitude practise, it’s using the word “practise”. It’s dropping all the bullshit, all the pretence, it’s all the self-imposed pressure, all the defence and deference. It’s all the war paint. All the make-up. All the masking. It’s, maybe, meditating, contemplating, self-educating. It might be saluting the sun or going for a run. It’s writing your 4 freeform pages.
It’s all the things we’ve all become so accustomed to, so aware of, so tautly taught to do that they’ve permeated our language and set arbitrary new standards. It’s all become so stingingly branded. None of this is to say that that’s wrong. Just that it doesn’t always have to be on.
It’s all the things that might indeed be helpful, beneficial, balancing, grounding and centring, but just for today I feel like being directionless, imbalanced and floaty. I want to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. I want to openly stare at someone as they walk towards me in the street. I want to make a loud, meowing, satisfying sound when I stretch. I want to fart. I’m going to fart. You can’t stop me. I want to disagree. I don’t want to say please. I want to scoff at stupidity and wear my stupidity on my sleeve. I’m going to take a break from playing within the rules and regulations, at least partially.
It’s knowing that feeling done with it all is an entirely legitimate and temporary part of it all. It’s understanding that these lines aren’t rigid, that nothing is permanent, everything, eventually, permeable, everything changeable.
Tomorrow I can check back in and return to the field of play with a fresh uniform on. But today I’m taking it all off.
And I invite you to do the same if you’d like to. Take the day off or just the hour if that’s too much. Stop doing the things you feel like you have to do to be whole and notice you might be wholly who you are already. Have a holiday.
Stop attending to the voice of instruction for just a short while and allow something different to come to the fore for once. Maybe a different voice has something important to say.
But then again, don’t listen to me, I’m just sitting here picking my nose and farting. What the hell do I know?