I turned a leaf in 2013 by working harder than ever before--hubs is great inspiration--but I used to spoil myself all the time. Want to watch a movie? OKAY. Want a second helping? Come to mama, you glorious extra portion of pasta. Don't want to get up on a weekend morning? Master turning five more minutes into an extra hour and a half.
After weeks of pushing myself, I took some time off. Except I didn't give myself permission. I snuck it like a child hoping my parents wouldn't notice and believing I got away with it. I was ready with excuses.
"I have a headache."
"I will!" (Use teenage tone of beleaguered angst as if you've done everything ever asked of you and any questioning of your reliability is the greatest insult ever.)
"I have to clean first," says no one genuinely.
Too often I wait to say it's okay until after I've been a grump. You must give yourself permission before otherwise you get pissy. And it leaks.
This time, I asked my editor for permission in advance. She gave me another week, until February 1.
I didn't worry about my current novel and a funny thing happened. I wrote blog posts, prepped a short story for a literary journal, discovered the back story for my next novel, and invested time in marketing. And it didn't feel like work.
It's been one week and instead of feeling guilty or annoyed, I'm refreshed.