As the Memorial Day weekend approached, I looked forward to some downtime, something hubby, Tim, emphasized we both needed.

We made plans to hide out at our little cottage where we serve as club treasurers and were expected to attend the annual spring meeting. The few hours out for the meeting would still leave plenty of time to work on some craft projects I'd sidelined. For one, I'd bought this cute little 3-D book/music room kit designed to sit on a shelf between my books. I'd been anxiously awaiting Tim's golf night to get it started, but due to weather and other circumstances, three weeks later, I still hadn't found the time. This holiday weekend I would—I hoped.

Thursday, we packed the car, extracted our kitty from hiding (she loves the cottage, not the car), and off we went. After loading, driving, unloading, putting everything away, and all the typical opening-day cleaning, I sat for a bit of a rest before making dinner. Cross Thursday off the "downtime" list. But it's a choice I made. It's okay, I told myself. It's just day one.

Friday. Yay! A new day wide open for downtime and no-pressure projects. A full fifteen hours or more of welcoming potential. But first, I decided to dig through some cupboards to make room for some new additions I had brought with me. I filled some boxes for charity and eBay with no longer needed items. With a tiny cottage (think the size of a two-car garage), we don't have room for extras. This led to some more cleaning and typical cottage chores. Next thing I knew, I needed to get dinner. I did spend an hour or so working on my website. I couldn't berate myself for not relaxing. I made the choice to clean instead of playing.


How quickly time flies! Could it be Saturday already? We prepped for the meeting, gave our report, and mingled with the members before heading home for lunch. After lunch, Tim and I spent a couple of hours going through meeting notes and taking care of some financial chores in our care.

Sunday showed up. Time to head home. More packing, loading, finding the cat, driving, unloading, putting things away. Don’t forget running for groceries, picking up the mail… Sheesh.

Monday—the actual holiday—I had laid before me yet more options and choices. What would this day bring? What would I choose? Would I decide to actually take a day off from routine? Would I etch out a little play time or R&R?

Somewhere in those swiftly passing days, we watched some baseball, some car racing, some mysteries, and some of our favorite YouTube shows. I may have taken more than one twenty-minute cat nap. These too, were all choices decided by me.

You see, we sometimes get frustrated when things don't go as planned. We may berate ourselves—or even others—for keeping us from doing what we think we really want. But there are many times when choices we make ourselves are what's keeping us from doing those things, choices we may or may not be able to change in the moment they occur. It’s important to acknowledge our choices and take responsibility for them.Flintstones Circus

I felt obligated to attend the meeting, after all, I made the choice to offer my time as treasurer. I didn't want to leave my chores undone. I don't work (or play) well in chaos. I like everything clean, neat, and tidy. I could have chosen not to dig through my cupboards. I chose to do that clean out on this particular trip rather than putting it off for another. Somewhere along the line, I made a choice not to work on my playtime project. I made the choice to let one thing go so I could do another. Eventually, I will build my little book/music room. I will get to play. I just have to choose to do so. [Edit: I did start building it this past weekend.]

What choices do you make on a daily basis where you could opt out or grant yourself a pass? Are they preventing you from doing what you think you really want to do? Or do they represent what you perceive as a priority allowing your other wants and desires to take a backseat? Do you always put others before yourself? It's okay (and healthy) to cut yourself some slack now and then.

There is no right or wrong answer. Just make sure you recognize that you do make choices. Take time to make yourself aware of your choices so you make them consciously.