I’ve always been a really fucking responsible human being.
A few ill-advised frat party appearances in college aside, I make pretty damn adult decisions. I got straight A’s until college and have just one B and one C* (please read that footnote) on my undergrad transcript. Before I hit 24, I had worked on Capitol Hill and run the marketing department for an Economic Development organization in Fairfax County. By 30, I had my own brick-and-mortar yoga/coaching studio with almost no debt and was, at the same time, emotionally supporting another adult as he worked his way through the awful that is law school.
Loathe to take breaks, I made sure my vacations were carefully planned to incorporate appropriate amounts of business line-item events, a pre-researched yoga class or programmed workout, and accommodations for whatever version of my eating disorder had raised its ugly head at that time. Vacation basically just that meant I worked, educated myself, sweated or made geographically-appropriate tourist stops to exhaustion and collapsed into a lounge chair for 24 hours at the end for vacation. (Seriously. Just typing all that made me tired.)
But this year has been an absolutely beautiful train wreck … and I’ve been making pretty conscious decisions to be delightfully and responsibly irresponsible with my time and energy.
A week before my recent trip to Northern California, I un-enrolled myself from a class I’d committed to retake, decided not to book networking meetings or a full load of clients, called a friend (how do you say “person who reminds me I’m a functional human being and not a garbage heap" in one word?) in San Francisco, and made plans to go to Big Sur with my best friend/muse. Instead of a working vacation, I blew off a lot of responsibility and:
- Wandered around the SFMOMA in awe of raw power the human soul.
- Ate a burrito made of sushi (A BURRITO MADE OF SUSHI.)
- Waded across a river, hiked a mile barefoot, and let the wind whip my hair as I walked on the beach.
- Stared at the California coast line for hours.
- Wrote complete fiction and some very inadequate poetry.
I inconvenienced and probably upset a few people I really care about because I didn’t bother to plan much further than 3 hours ahead and flew by the seat of my pants for 5 days. I ate. and ate. and ate. I slept through the SUPER super moon. I spent too much money on coffee and meals and cocktails, on a pair of sneakers at Nordstrom Rack in Union Square simply because I’d forgotten mine, on a lantern at the shop at Nepenthe just because it made me happy and on bottles of wine at my favorite tasting room.
In short: I was ME … full of wonder and childish imagination ... from the bottom of my heart for five days in a row.
So here’s the obligatory self-inquiry question:
When was the last time you were responsibly irresponsible? Made the tough call to put away your to-do list for a few hours to play or lounge? Mindfully set aside a goal or two for the purpose of pure pleasure?
I hesitate to tell you this in the event that you’re an overachiever like me and will turn doing nothing into another bit of homework or a reason to beat yourself up … but being irresponsible can actually be pretty productive.
(*I feel obligated to explain that the C was actually an “incomplete" the math department at NAU refused to grant me. I took all zeroes on half-a-semester’s worth of statistics after my hospitalization because FUCK if i was going to retake an entire semester of statistics.)