Allowing for the Luxury of Time

Overwhelm. Having it all. Working hard, working from home, making dinner, cleaning up, all things entrepreneurial. Podcasts, blog posts, articles about meditation. The strange, thin line that lies between self-employment and unemployment. It's all I think about lately. I told Rob the other day that between blogging and freelance work, I'm making more money than I have in the past, but I feel unsatisfied in some way. Obviously money is not everything, but it is something. Either way, I love what I do but sometimes it feels like something's been missing.

Last week I drove through the city on a weekday morning and felt nothing but jealousy as I saw women in pencil skirts walking down the sidewalk together, with bags on their arms and Starbucks cups in their hands. And yet, when that was me, I dreamed of working for myself--of a big white desk in my apartment and a life where I got eight hours of sleep and cooked and made it to they gym every day no matter what. The grass is greener on the other side, some say; and others tell you that no, the grass is greener where you water it. I have found that both of them are true, but it's impossible to water your own grass when you can't stop staring at the neighbor's.

Here's a thing I've never said before: Sometimes being a lifestyle blogger feels really stupid. You write about everything and in doing that, you're almost always alienating one reader from the others. This person likes you because they want recipes. This person wants you to write. This person wants more style posts! And this person understands why you do sponsored posts, but wishes you wouldn't. And I'm over here, somehow trying to do all of it, but not always doing a very good job at any of it.

But Freckled Italian was born out of a desire to write.

And I'm trying to find a way back to that.

I walked along the beach last weekend by myself--barefoot, listening to the waves, waving at black labs and golden retrievers busy chasing frisbees, smiling at young dads up early to set up umbrellas for their new families--and I thought, this is what they're talking about when they say everyone needs time to recharge, reset, reconnect. To stand in shallow water, watching the tide come in. To ignore your phone, leave your laptop at home, and laugh until your sides ache with friends. To have a couple glasses of wine and face your fear of the ocean--to dive under the breaking waves and feel more accomplishment about that simple feat than you have in months. To simply slow down.

Allow the luxury of time, dreaming out the window, a little noodle walk through a dime store...

I know more but I don’t push it because there are things I don’t know that I want to come to me. I’m calling up understanding beyond myself. If I get too determined, to linear, I’ll miss the tugs of intuition at the periphery of my perceptions, the things I don’t want to say, the things I have never said, these things that enrich the writing.
— Natalie Goldberg, "Old Friend from Far Away"

I've written about this exact same thing multiple times, but most recently here. I feel like I finally might be getting somewhere. But, like most things in life, it just takes time. And, I guess, a trip to the beach.