Because I haven’t been disclaimer-ey enough yet today.
If this post makes no sense, you might want to read my last conversation with the Time Gremlins. The short version is that they don’t let me … not be busy.
And that they have surprisingly good intentions, but ow ow ow the guilt.
In which I call an emergency meeting.
Me: Hey, stuckified resistance that lives inside of me. Talk to me for a minute?
My stucknesses: You know, this is really not a good time.
Me: I know. You always say that.
My stucknesses: Do you have any idea at all how much work you have to do right now? You need to save that stupid emotional processing crap for the weekends.
Me (stage whisper): Right. Not falling for that one this time.
My stucknesses: blah blah list of seventeen million things I’m not doing right this second that desperately need to be done or I’ll end up living on the street.
Me: Listen. This is exactly why we need to have this meeting now. Because you always say that. And because you’re right.
My stucknesses: Really? You’re agreeing with us?
Me: We do have a ridiculous number of things that all want to be done first. And I’m feeling stressed out because I don’t know where to start. And you’re feeling stressed out because you’re afraid I won’t do any of them.
My stucknesses: Okay.
Me: I’m on your side. In a weird way. I also want for me to be able to do the things. I just have different ideas about how this could happen. And I want to make a presentation about it!
My stucknesses: Sigh. Fine. Present away. But we don’t have to like it.
In which I make my points.
Point 1: Fear of resentment.
Me: My esteemed stucknesses and members of the board, I know why you won’t let me take time off. It’s because you are afraid that people will resent me for it.
My stucknesses: Well, yeah. And that’s true.
Me: Prove it.
My stucknesses: For one thing, people were jealous when you went on Emergency Vacation, and that was just to prevent an emotional breakdown. It wasn’t even — god forbid, tfu tfu tfu, a real vacation.
Me: So what? Anyone who isn’t hugely pro-mental-health-for-me totally isn’t one of my right people anyway.
My stucknesses: But they’ll throw shoes!
Me: How do you know?
My stucknesses: Fine. But you’re resentful when other people take time off. Why wouldn’t they be resentful of you too?
Me: No. I’m envious of them. I’m resentful about you. You’re the ones who make me feel crappy when I try to give myself time to myself.
My stucknesses: Oh.
Point 2: Alignment of purpose
With all due respect, honored stucknesses, internal resistance and Members of the Stuckness Board, I get the fear.
You want to protect me from people being resentful. I’m on board with that.
I’m also afraid that people could be inadvertently mean, just as a reaction of their own stucknesses. However, I am more afraid that I won’t take care of myself. And that’s the thing that has to come first.
Ultimately, we both want the same thing: for me to get a lot done.
Because I’m on a mission from god. Got it.
And we both want for me to be able to do what needs to be done. Here’s the thing.
I do better work when I’m rested. And I can prove it to you.
Point 3: The power of past experience.
Remember, Members of the Stuckness Board, what happened on Emergency Vacation?
I had about a hundred great business ideas. And I was actually able to implement some of them when I came back, because I wasn’t completely burnt out.
And remember what happened on Almost Emergency Vacation? I healed from the extreme awfulness that was my month of things going horribly wrong in Berlin.
Last week when the gentleman friend and I actually took a day off to do something fun? My head got so clear that I accidentally planned the entire curriculum for the Writing Non-sleazy Non-embarrassing-Copy seminar.
Time and time again we have seen that we get more done when we take time off. We have experienced the power of clear-headedness, and the connection between clear-head and getting in the zone.
I put it to you that it is in your best interest and the best interest of my business that we take regular time off.
Point 4: Other people’s smartnesses.
Additionally, ladies and gentleman of the Gremlin Confederation of Internal Time-Related Stucknesses, I wish to remind you of what our first business mentor advised us a few years ago.
He said we would have to live by what we teach.
And that every period of time that goes to action needs to be followed by a period of time for conscious inaction.
That you aren’t doing yoga if you don’t follow your physical practice with shavasana.
That you don’t get to work the land if you don’t let the ground rest.
That you aren’t human if you don’t sleep.
You know that he was right about everything else. He saw how biggified we could be before we ever got there.
He’s right about this too.
I truly believe that what is most necessary — if we’re going to change the world and stuff the way you want us too — is to develop a conscious relationship with our own gunk.
Because that’s how we model it for the people we want to help.
So if I want to help my people, I am going to have to give myself permission to go on holiday.
My stucknesses: Fine.
Me: On a regular basis.
My stucknesses: You’re pushing it, sister.
Me: Oh no I’m not.
Point 5: Not repeating past mistakes.
Again, Esteemed Stucknesses, we have seen what happens when I don’t take vacation.
What happens is that it takes me. And emergency vacations are much more challenging than regular ones. They screw with our schedule. And the genius-idea effect is severely limited by my state of falling-apart-ness.
And we have seen what happens when I do take time off. Basically, everything is better.
I am willing to promise you that I will come back to work. I am willing to promise you that my mission will not get lost.
And at the same time, in order for our work to thrive, we need space and time for planning and for recovery.
To that end, I propose four Intentional Vacations this year, one for each quarter.
Two can be dedicated business-planning genius-idea-generating time. And two are just for me.
My stucknesses: This is outrageous! Slippery slope! You’ll end up spending your life in bed! This can’t happen! Four?!?!?! Who do you think you are?!
Me: Guys? You know I’m right.
My stucknesses: Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Me: May I remind you that until the Emergency Vacation in June, we had not had a vacation since 1999?
My stucknesses: 2001, actually.
Me: That was one of the most stressful time-off-nesses ever.
My stucknesses: Still.
Me: Still that was a hell of a long time ago. Work with me here.
In which we come to a temporary understanding.
Me: I can tell how uncomfortable this is. We’re going to ease you into this.
My stucknesses: You want us to be comfortable?
Me: I want all of us to be comfortable. I want you to know that I am going to be safe and supported and cared for, so that you can stop scaring me half to death.
My stucknesses: That’s what we want too. We just worry that you’ll forget about why you do what you do.
Me: I’m not going to forget that. It lives inside of me. It’s something that I will be practicing while I take this time off. It’s something that I will be practicing through taking this time off.
My stucknesses: Okay. Just don’t tell anyone about this because then they’ll resent you and throw shoes.
Me: Well, I’m totally telling my blog readers about our conversation.
My stucknesses: And then you’ll probably edit the whole thing so no one will know how funny we are.
Me: I know how funny you are.
Comment zen for today.
We’re all working on our stuff. We’re all practicing. No advice, please.
And yes, I am aware I don’t have to run my plans by my Stuckness Committee — and I’m doing it anyway. Because that just feels like what is needed right now.
But commiseration, laughter, soup and hanging-out are all completely welcome. Thank you!
is there any thing more healing than humour? really I learn as much from your awesome wisdom as I do from the chance to laugh out loud frequently in front of your lbog posts. Thank you.
And I must need a vacation too becasue I noticed how perky I got when I thought about “spendign my life in bed!”
.-= Pearl Mattenson´s last post … 12.22.09 =-.
Holy crap, is “tfu tfu tfu” the original version of “poo poo poo”?
I love that you speak Hebrew – or is it Yiddish – to your Stuckness. With mine, I speak spanglish.
“Callate, Mami. Me voy on some time off.”
Love the dialogue.
Trying to wrap my head around 8 years without a vacation.
Your Stuckness should be ashamed.
What a shanda.
.-= Laura Belgray´s last post … Go ahead, hate my stuff (or, why writing is like a big glass of milk). =-.
Way to go sweetie – way to go!
Love you Havi, Selma!
I love the stuckness committee — oh, I mean Stuckness Committee (don’t want to slight them!) — and it’s only because I JUST had a talk with my own internal butt-kickers (whom I also love – they DO want to help us, after all) that I had time to come over and here and find out what you were up to.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you and the Committee came to a “temporary understanding” – and mostly, that you’re going to give yourself the love and space and vacation that I sure bet all your Right People wish you YARDS of!!
Isn’t working with our inner selves the BEST? I just started incorporating more of that into my life lately and kazoom – it rocks! But what rocks MORE — sharing the process, like you did here.
Love you, Havi – you are so beautiful,wonderful,braveglorious and dear — inside and out! And you too, Selmaling!
.-= Square-Peg Karen´s last post … A Day Late and a Dollar Short =-.
So very proud of you! I too struggle with a time/to-do list stuckness wherein I don’t do anything because it’s all important and ‘how dare I pick one thing above the rest.’
Also, ‘mission from god’! Aside from my parents, I can’t really say that around anyone without getting eyerolling or weird looks because they don’t get the reference!
Anyway, going off to listen and read my new Shiva goodies, thank you!
This has me thinking lots about my own vacation issues. Even when I had paid time off, I wasn’t good about creating vacations for myself that left me feeling renewed.
I hope you’ll share your smartnesses with us about how to have a vacation that actually relaxes you.
Also, I totally love that you created a presentation to convince your Stuckness Committee. Did you use Powerpoint? *runs away*
.-= Victoria Brouhard´s last post … Because It Would Be Good for Me =-.
Oh, Havi and the Stuckness Board (it’s just one guy. and a duck): wishing you loads of permission to rest, play, vacate, create, goof off, and not-do.
Four intentional vacations this year sounds just about perfect!
.-= Hiro Boga´s last post … Sunday Poem #14: Buddhist Chronicles 4 =-.
Whoa. Feeling whacked-upside-the-head (gently, with love) by this. I have done just a very little bit of yoga in my life, but enough to get the reference — and that’s a really powerful metaphor. Lately the Universe seems to be requiring me to be in a restful period, no matter how I spin my wheels trying to “make things happen.” I’ve been wondering what it would be like to just admit (and accept) that we’re resting right now, and to make a little space for the next thing to arrive in its own sweet time. I am a little bit NOT PATIENT AT ALL, so this waiting thing is hard. It’s kind of entertaining to suddenly be aware of myself trying to avoid the waiting… as if I get to decide when I’m ready to start waiting. 🙂
.-= Tracy´s last post … Holding Zone =-.
Tell your stucknesses from me that they are hilarious.
And tell your you (and your duck) from me, that you are awesome.
.-= Lucy Viret (aka randomling)´s last post … A division of me. And a mini-announcement. =-.
I decided to give myself the whole week off. Then proceeded to sit on my bed all day yesterday and plan my year, including 10 meetings for a networking group I run, and finding sponsors for that and basically accomplishing more on my “day off” then I usually accomplish in a day at work.
I think, for me anyway, giving myself the permission to not have to do anything frees my brain up to be creative and strategic and un-stuck.
But, today I had a proper day off that involved snow-shoeing, cocoa, cupcakes and wine.
What a wonderful post, Havi. I need to have a similar conversation but for opposite reasons: my Gremlins are shouting “how dare you think you deserve a vacation – you never do anything to begin with!“.
Naturally, it’s hard to get anything done when your gremlins are insisting that nothing you do is “doing something”.
I hope I can take a note from you; in the meantime, I hope your vacations are glorious. 🙂
Thank you, this is exactly what I needed to read today.
My ideal woman (that’s who my stucknesses is named) is really really pissed off that I’m not getting anything done. Of course, it was because my daughter was in the hospital for 10 days. But she’s like: you’ve been home for a whole week and you are still not caught up on work and have not even put up a Christmas tree and have not finished buying the presents and you aren’t making her do all her exercises and you really should stop drinking so much diet pepsi and you gained 10 lbs while she was in the hospital and need to lose that asap and what will people think.
The thing is, I forgot that that wasn’t *me* saying those things, it is *her* saying those things.
Thanks for the reminder.
.-= Elizabeth Potts Weinstein´s last post … Skype, Starbucks & Skin Grafts: 11 Strategies to Find Friends in Fantasyland =-.
Ha. I love it when I post stuff like this and somehow you don’t actually think I’m completely psychotic. Awesome.
@Laine – Me too! I mean, when I take time off, way more is accomplished than on working days. Adding that to the power point.
And snow-shoeing, cocoa, cupcakes and wine sounds like an extremely perfect day off.
@Chris – oh yes, that’s a different committee for me but I have those voices too.
My argument for them is that the reason I’m not getting anything done is that I’m running on empty and they need to let me get replenished so I can do stuff. But man, it’s a tough one. Sorry about that. Hard.
@Tracy – oh that’s a beautiful summing up of everything in my head. Thank you!
@Amy – yay, Blues Brothers reference officially gotten! I always wonder if I need to explain myself and then hope that I don’t.
@Laura – you’re right. It IS a Shanda! Such a Skandal! Also: I adore you.
Thanks you guys (all of you) for making me think. It is such a good thing in my life and I appreciate it.
Utterly kickass title for your seminar. “Writing Non-sleazy Non-embarrassing-Copy seminar.”
Want to hear more about it. Thx
Giulietta, Inspirational Rebel
.-= giulietta nardone´s last post … Flaunt Your Flaws Day! =-.
Yes yes yes! (Also, big grin at the Blues Brothers MFG.)
My super mean evil cruel and horrible coach made me put a bunch of days off into my calendar way in advance. Including a half day once a month to go do worthless terrible self-indulgent things like have a massage and fancy tea.
And huh, things started getting super better. Super duper better. Smarter, and fewer dumb mistakes, and much better ability to see, “Oh, yeah, that’s not ever going to work, let’s make this adjustment.”
It’s a little like getting to climb to the top of a hill every month and see where I actually am.
I’m now bumping my once-a-month half day off to a most-of-the-day off that I take every three weeks. And working on (not doing very well yet, but it will happen) spending Friday afternoons on planning and getting clear and processing rather than doing.
.-= Sonia Simone´s last post … What Makes Marketing Hard? =-.
Oh, the Stuckness Committee. The best of intentions. Thank you for the hilarious and truthful reminder (why is it that those two things so rarely go together outside of this blog?) about the fallow land/shavasana time.
.-= Claire´s last post … They sound like ladies =-.
Boy do I love you. And your entire Stuckness Board.
Please tell them we DO know that they are funny.
.-= Pamela Slim´s last post … How to choose a business to start =-.
’bout ready to crash out, perhaps while watching Superman, but just wanted to say: Blues Brothers–yea!
.-= claire @claireofttat´s last post … Solstice =-.
i love it when others hear voices . . . and have a meeting with them. this is too funny. tell the committee i said so.
Oh my gosh, this is SO far from psychotic! I think it’s the sanest thing we can do (and SO glad to know I’m not the only one who talks to my inner cast of characters this way!)
I figure as long as I’m talking TO them, I’m not identifying WITH them and that’s a BIG step in my world.
I have to say that your inner dialogues are way more entertaining than mine, though. = >
.-= SusanJ´s last post … Our Passions Have a Purpose =-.
First, what’s wrong with being “completely psychotic”? You know everything before it happens… (Waddayamean that’s not what that means. A different word?!?) Oh. Apparently the word I thought you meant was “psychic”. Off by two little letters.
Anyway, where was I? (A rabbi and a priest walk into a bar. The duck misses and goes through the front door.)
Take whatever time you need to nurture and regenerate. Land has to lie fallow after a harvest in order to be productive. And birds suddenly appear… (Now cut that out. There will be no Carpenters music in this post.) If anybody or anything gives you grief about it, tell them that I know the CDO (Chief Duck Officer) of the DLA (Duck Liberation Army) and you don’t have to take quack from anybody. Or just tell them to get flocked.
Wishing you joy and rebirth during Hanakkuh, Solstice, and whatever else you might celebrate this season!
Bon Voyage! Bonnes Vacances! Salud! Enjoy! Sayonara! A bientot! Later! See ‘ya! Have a grrrrreat time! Bye-bye! Yay, Havi on Holiday!
My stucknesses and I really want you to go on vacation.
My stucknesses: Dude, Havi should totes go on vacation.
Me: Totes. But ssh–she doesn’t like stucknesses to tell people they should do stuff.
My stucknesses: Sorry. 🙁 How about “we would be happy to see Havi go on vacation?”
Me: That works. I’d be happy too.
My stucknesses: I’m not sure how we feel about you being happy.
Me: Put a sock in it.
My stucknesses: Can it be the sock with kitties on it?
Me: Sure, I just washed it.
Anyway, you get the idea. We’re all rooting for you!
.-= Blue´s last post … Mad Men Bonus! Watching Billy Wilder’s The Apartment =-.
Hey, I RECOGNIZE that accent! Very familiar! Certain members of my own Stuckness Board must have gone to the same Elite Graduate Stuckness School as your Board Members because this is almost VERBATIM what they have been telling me. Thank you so much for distributing your minutes. Now I know what to say when Sir Stucksalot makes his daily “Outrageous! Slippery Slope! You’ll end up spending your life in bed!” proclamations.
Ah, Havi’s Stucknesses. I know how funny you are. It is clear how much you love Havi, so I am glad that you finally came to a vacation agreement and she can take intentional time off next year. (And if it helps, she could spend the rest of her life in bed and I would still love her madly.)
Thank you for the reminder that action needs to be followed by inaction.
.-= Elizabeth´s last post … here comes sinter klaus =-.
Beautiful, Havi, and extremely timely! Time to gather all my panicky time gremlins under my wing, and tell them a few bedtime stories…
.-= Kathleen Avins @spiralsongkat´s last post … If blogging can be therapy, can it also be triage? =-.
Oh by the way. A weird thing is happening here with the “commentluv” thing on your blog. If I post one time, it doesn’t work – even if I untick the box and then tick it again, it never goes to get my latest post. But then if I do another comment right afterwards like this, it works again. It’s been like that a little while, but I’m pretty sure it did work properly the first time I commented.
.-= Jennifer´s last post … Favourite educational videos =-.
That’ll be Uncle Paco’s Famous Cuban Black Bean Soup That Puts All Other Black Bean Soups To Shame. With a little rice in the bottom. And chopped onion and gorgeous olive oil on top. And some Avocado Salad on the side. ‘Cause tomorrow is Noche Buena, which is a Cuban excuse to make flan.
Thanks as always.
Wow, I really needed to read this! (I feel I’ve been saying that a lot over here recently…) This running-on-empty thing: I know it all too well. The safeguarding of mental health is a wholly laudable and justified thing. (Even for me, which is the part I have trouble with.)
Anyway, soup! I made a rocking soup today, with three kinds of lentils (and onion, garlic, carrot, celery, tomato, stock, spices). Set it going in the slow-cooker at 11a.m., and by the time the guests started to show up for our party in the evening, it was ready for them. Yum. There’s still some left. I’ll save you a bowl.
.-= Lean Ni Chuilleanain (@leannich)´s last post … Spring Two Steps Forward, One Step Back =-.