Indulgence

I have been wildly indulgent twice in the last week.

Last Tuesday, I took my best friend out for lunch and a pedicure to celebrate the anniversary of her birth. I have not had a professional pedicure in . . . at least 18 months, I think. It was heaven. My feet are ready for spring now.

After our delightful lunch, I stopped by the yarn shop for a bit of browsing, then picked up The Ducklings from school and took them to the library. The family took advantage of a free evening by enjoying a home-cooked meal (an all-too-rare occurrence of late) and a family movie night. I knitted, I had a little helping of Bailey’s Irish Cream, and I enjoyed some conversation with my husband, and I slept in peace.

I did not clean. I did not do any volunteer work. I did not fret about unfinished house projects. I just simply decided that they could wait until tomorrow.

And they did. The dishes, the toilets, the laundry, the work, the projects–they were all there on Wednesday morning, waiting to be dealt with.

The difference was–I was ready. I’d indulged my soul with friendship and family and books and crafts and story and good food, and I felt rested and ready to face everything again. And this was a good thing indeed, because from Wednesday through Sunday, my life was once again insanely busy. Busy with good things, mind you–dinner with my in-laws, our long family hike, church, Bible study with middle schoolers–but busy.

Which brings me to yesterday.

Tiger and Lucy did not have school yesterday. They were supposed to have a dental appointment, but it was canceled. I took Boy Scout and Hermione to school, finished some Cub Scout homework with Tiger, made sure Lucy did her daily reading, and then . . .

I indulged in my art.

For most of the day.

Even into the night.

And it was heaven.

I have been profoundly hesitant to indulge in anything related to my art over the last many months. I have resisted it to the point of tears–angry tears, frustrated tears, grieving tears. I have refused to open the floodgates, fearing that any indulgence–even a small one–might just reawaken that need, that desire, that wish to succeed at the business side of the art once again. I have ignored the creative urge within myself because it seemed pointless–because I have convinced myself that my art is worthless if it is not shared by anyone else, because I have determined never to share it with anyone again, because I have repeated to myself a thousand times that what I create is not worth sharing, anyway, and why bother if it only takes time from the family?

But I could not hold back the floodgates yesterday.

I did not clean. I did not do any volunteer work. I did not fret about unfinished house projects. I just simply decided that they could wait until tomorrow.

And here they all are, waiting to be confronted.

My art did no more harm than did my indulgence in a pedicure, lunch, yarn shopping, and movie night. My children were still fed and clothed all day yesterday. Everyone ended up where he or she needed to be at appropriate times. Homework was finished. No one really seemed to care that I had indulged. In fact, only Lucy (my unbelievably observant child) and Mr. P even noticed.

So the question is, do I feel better for it today? Am I a happier person for indulging? Did my indulgence have any lasting significance?

Answers: Yes, yes, and I don’t know.

What I created yesterday is not a finished product. The question now is–do I return to it? Do I take the time to change it if I do not intend to ever share it with anyone? Is there a point in making something as nearly perfect as possible if I am the only one who will ever see it?

I don’t know.

What I do know is this: I created, and I created with abandon–without caring what anyone else thought of the product, without worrying about criticism and business and marketing and promotion.

I simply created for the joy of creation.

We are, after all, made in God’s image, and He is the ultimate Creator. Should it be any shock that we need to create?

I need to create, and I need to create for the joy of it. As I told Mr. P, if I keep it inside me, it poisons me. I have to let it out, even if no one else ever knows.

And for a moment–for one day out of a week or a month of weeks or how long it takes for me to return to my art–I created. I indulged.

My soul is fed.

Till next we meet . . .

J M

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