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This past week I’ve been stuck.

I’ve been stuck with letting work overwhelm my “free” time. I’ve been stuck with letting fear and negativity sink into the way I perceive some actions that are outside of my control. I’ve been stuck with getting too caught up in what I “have to” do and not what I “want to” do. I’ve been stuck with making excuses for why I can’t…

So yesterday I made a choice. I made a choice and I gave myself permission to get unstuck. 

Yesterday, I did not do any grading after my students left school. Why? Because I had spent the three previous nights up until 10pm grading and planning and I gave myself the permission to not grade.

Yesterday, I did not stay at school until 5pm like I had been doing almost all week. Why? Because I wanted to actually spend time with my husband and Pugsley. I wanted to be at home and have real conversations without a red pen in my hand and papers in front of me and I gave myself the permission to spend quality time with my family.

Yesterday, I did not read Facebook posts or emails or news articles. Why? Because sometimes we get too caught up in things outside of our control and we let if affect us. Instead, I gave myself permission to read a book for pleasure. It was only for me to enjoy and there was no connection to work or another “have to.”

Yesterday, I did not think about making dinner, didn’t think about going to the store. Why? Because my husband suggested that we have a date night instead and go out to a nice restaurant. So we gave ourselves the permission to treat ourselves after a long week of work – a week that I spent grading, a week where he worked what could have been a week of vacation. We gave ourselves that permission to enjoy a nice dinner that we normally do not take the time to have. Sure, we eat dinner together just about every night, but there’s always someone cooking and clean up that has to be done. This time, it was just about the food and spending time together.

So often we let ourselves get caught up in the “have to” of our everyday, and of course those things are necessary. However, we need to be able to give ourselves permission sometimes to do those things that make us happy. We need to tell ourselves that we deserve even just 20 minutes a day to be mindful of our own joy. It can be as simple as taking an extra coffee break, or a walk by ourselves, or reading a book, or cuddling with a pet.

No matter what it means to you, give yourself that permission. Love yourself!
Happy weekend friends, and please feel free to share what you have given yourself permission to do lately.