The 30-Day Writing & Publishing Project, Day 27: Stop Giving Your Dreams a Pass

Normally I don’t speak “life coach” around here, but today I’m afraid I’m going to have to.

Of the many lessons I need to learn, one of the biggest is that it’s A-OK to put myself and my priorities first.

I don’t mean in a selfish, “the-world-revolves-around-me” kind of way. No, I mean, when reviewing my projects and tasks for the day, it’s ok to make the choice to work on my writing and other creative projects first thing in the a.m., before I start on client work and other obligations. Or to take a yoga class in the middle of the day. Or to let myself off the hook by knocking off of work by 5:00 pm occasionally.

I’m not always successful at this, but I’m trying.

Still, most days find me doing the client work first, then working on my own writing at the end of the day when, frankly, my mind is more frazzled and my energy is diffuse. And blowing off yoga. And working until 7:00 pm or beyond.

A recent email from life coach extraordinaire Susan Hyatt reminded me that this practice sends a powerful negative message to my – oh, I don’t know, inner creative, I guess – that my own projects and priorities are less important than everyone else’s.

And it’s not just the creative work that always seen to come in second, it’s also all the other little things that make life joyful rather than a constant day in, day out work slog. All the things we say we want, yet put off in favor of something more important, more pressing, more “necessary.”

According to Hyatt’s email:

If you flake on yourself on a regular basis — skipping the gym, bailing on a yoga class, not making the time to eat well, sleep well, work on your blog or your business, or get that pedicure you’ve really been looking forward to — then the message you are repeatedly hammering into your own mind is, “I am not worth it.” Along with: “Other people’s needs and dreams are more important than mine.”

Well, I declare, as we say here in the South. Ain’t it the dang truth?

From that very list above I can tell you that I’ve scheduled, then nixed, a pedicure, a yoga class, and getting 8 full hours of glorious, blissful sleep on more than one occasion in the last two weeks.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes, one I’ve shared here many times before:

I knew that my dreams were as valid as I was prepared to make them.

~ Actor, Director and Author Sidney Poitier

Our dreams, even that little dream of getting a pedicure or taking a yoga class –  gasp, in the middle of the day on a weekday, if we feel like it – are as valid as we are prepared to make them.  

So let’s make our dreams valid by putting ourselves first place from time to time, shall we?

 I say this to myself as much as to anyone else.