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.

Shall we?

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!

The Fluent Self