Springingtiger's Blog

Playing Hooky


On Saturday I took a day off from my usual schedule. I enjoyed it. Everyday I write my journal, everyday I read my Bible, everyday I post my blog. Saturday began as any other day I did write in my journal in the morning, but decided to postpone my Bible reading until the evening, as I often do. I usually blog in the evening, often the subject of my blog is suggested by the events of the day or, perhaps, the news. Saturday began as a normal day, the only anticipated break from routine was meeting up with some of my friends in the Glasgow Ubiquitous E Steampunk Society to go to the MCM Comic Con. This is not going to be a blog about MCM nor Steampunk, but there will be reference to both later in the week possibly.

It was only in the evening as I thought about blogging that I realised it felt like a burden. I could have posted one I had in reserve for an occasion when time did not permit writing. However as I contemplated what to post it occurred to me that I had become a prisoner of my targets and goals. I love setting goals as they provide a clarity and focus to my actions, but on Saturday I realised that instead of using them I had become subject to their tyranny, I had become obsessive about achieving them. I had set myself the goal of posting a blog every day of the year and having blogs in hand made that a simple enough thing to do. On Saturday the thought of posting a blog everyday ceased to give me joy. Blogging is not my job, I don’t get paid for it, I do it for pleasure and if it does not give me joy then what is the point? On Saturday I chose not to post even a reserve blog, I chose not to read my Bible, and in the evening I did not complete my journal for the day.

For a little while I felt uncomfortable, I do not like it when my days do not follow their expected routine. For a little while I felt uncomfortable that I was letting myself or others down, I have no contract with anyone but myself so at worst I was letting myself down. I learned many years ago from Werner Erhard that even when one has given one’s word it is permissible to renegotiate any agreement. My agreement is with me and I realised that the deeper level of the agreement was to find joy in what I was doing, I gave myself permission to play hooky and immediately experienced a great feeling of freedom, so much so that I almost wrote about it there and then. I think that might have defeated the point a little as it was only by breaking my agreement with myself that it ceased to be a burden.

One day off from goals and schedules and then it was back to the blog and all the rest of it because that’s what I wanted. I have a better agreement now, now I will not allow myself to be burdened by my commitments, but to focus on the joy to which they lead. And where there is no joy on which to focus then I will do something else. Another thing I learned by taking that day off is that I love to write and a day without writing feels like a day with a hole at its heart. I doubt I’ll take another day off like that, but I’m happy I did.


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