Squishing About in My Brain

No, You DO NOT Have To!

Posted on: August 19, 2010


2005 Recovery Fine Arts Festival: Best in Acrylic

I had an epiphany today at 12:47 p.m.








I was cleaning my room, never a favorite activity, even less so now that I only have a room, but even more necessary…and I was suddenly struck by an epiphany.

Yes, an honest-to-the-gods epiphany.

As I cleaned, my mind was going a million miles a minute, filling in all the things I had to do, had to get done, to fill my day.

My little Jellyfish Brain (or Squish Brain, as I affectionately call her, until someone informs me that I sound like a multiple personality, at which time I pretend I do not call her anything at all) was trying to pipe up in the background: “I WANNA KNIT! I WANNA WATCH A MOVIE AND KNIT!”

Silly Squish Brain, do you not realize that human beings must fill every moment of their days with activity, ESPECIALLY IF THEY HAVE NO JOB TO GO TO?!, my Societially-Correct Brain replied.

I could HEAR the Squish pouting, but kept cleaning.

Suddenly I had finished two boxes of clothes-hanging, and in my moment of complete and utter pride of accomplishment, heard the Squish Brain murmur, “Nuh uh.”


“Says who? You do NOT have to fill your day with activity. Even IF you have no job.”

Excuse me?

“Humans do not have to be on the move, DOING all the time. It does not make you a better, more worthy a human to deny yourself rest and joy and just DO WHAT YOU WANT at any given moment.”

WTF, SquishBrain?! Quit undermining my cleaning! It will make Mom less stressed if I clean my shit up, anyway.

“You have cleaned enough that YOU feel better being in the room. You can be done.”

I have to take these empty boxes out.

“No you don’t. You can take them next time you go downstairs for something.”

Crazy talk.

“You do not HAVE to fill your days. You are allowed to relax and make yourself happy. You are 41. If not now, when?”


And then…The Blast of Heavenly Light.


It IS OKAY not to do what you think is expected.

It is OKAY to please yourself.

The only judge of your behavior that matters is YOURSELF.

Stopping to knit, read, paint, walk, FIND JOY, even for hours at a time, is NOT WRONG.

It’s called taking care of your own needs. It makes you a stronger, “better” person.

Most of us live our lives so concerned about DOING all the time that we forget that sometimes the best thing to do is NOT STRIVE.

Sometimes, the most NECESSARY thing in life is just to do what you want, when you want, and NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT!

Please do not take this as support of anything like choosing to rape, murder, or give money to the Extreme Religious Right (you know the ones I am talking about—not so much religious as holier-than-thou)…but today, my friends…



And don’t set a time limit.

Just do it until you are ready to do something else.

Call it enlightenment.


1 Response to "No, You DO NOT Have To!"

Love it! Thank you for sharing!

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