Do you remember permission slips from school? I remember them from High School. I would get a permission slip to be excused from Math class so I could work in the Principal’s office. I’m not sure if it was because I was an ‘A’ student in Math or because I was the Principals favorite, but nonetheless, it was always fun. I would go get kids out of their classes, because the Principal wanted to see them, file piles of documents that the secretary couldn’t get to and eavesdrop on grownup school conversations.
Today, though, I’m talking about giving ourselves permission slips. I have been doing that a lot lately. I give myself permission NOT to finish something I’m working on, or to take a day off from working in the garden, or most recently to go home ‘sick’ from work. I was brought up with the old school attitude of “If you need something done, do it yourself”, “the only way to be accomplished is to DO-GO-BE”, “I am woman hear me roar”.
I’ve noticed as I get older that I don’t always have to be DOING, ACCOMPLISHING, FINISHING. I don’t have to be the best of the best, every day. My favorite saying when I was in my 20’s was “Do you want to be the steamroller or do you want to be the pavement?” Back then, I was the steam roller. And back then, I was proud of it.
Now, I don’t sing that song at all. I’m learning that my health is more important. Taking care of me and stopping halfway through a day in the garden because my back hurts is plenty enough reason to call it a day. I still need to give myself permission to stop so I don’t feel like a failure. Quitting was not an option when I was younger and changing that conversation takes me paying attention to it and giving it up to a new conversation. Again. My success looks & feels different these days. It takes practice to give myself permission to slow down, stop & rest.
One day it will be habit. And I will no longer have a need for permission slips.
Your God girl