Thursday, March 25, 2010

self-indulgent

"Today," I announced to my roomate, "I have been TOTALLY self-indulgent."

"Well, what did you do?" she asked.

So I told her about waking up hurting, trying to do homework but taking motrin and going back to sleep; about visiting a friend in the sculpture studio, watching him glaze bowls and helping him make sculptures of fish, then taking an hour of his shift at work (not a sacrifice, trust me) so that he could get things done on time. I told her about visiting my oldest sister's family, taking two of the kids with me on a grocery run, letting them both sit in the cart even though they're way too big; getting stared at in the aisles while I animatedly told them my favorite Asian fairy tale. I told her about having dinner with my sister's family and playing their piano before everyone went to bed, then eating the ALL of the tinned oysters I'd bought myself as a shopping treat.

It was fun.

"I love that this is what totally self-indulgent means to you," she said.

And I've been thinking about that. The things I spent my day on aren't useless; they just aren't the things I more officially need to get done. I didn't do any homework, or housework, or writing, or repairs, or reading, or exercise, or therapy(Bleah). This is apparently how things go when I prioritize social interaction. I don't feel wasted, though; I just feel. . . like. . . happy.

Weird.

Today continued the trend. I rolled out of bed after six hours of sleep and hastily checked the web to see what homework I'd ditched (none, but not on purpose), sat by my window soaking in morning sunlight, and eventually took the bus to class. If I were a good academic, I'd be putting in the hours to get a solid foundation in early modern, but I only sat through feminism. . . and it was fun--fantastic, actually. I was with people I like, having a long deep informed discussion about things I care about a lot--as I said, fantastic. Then I went home and promptly fell back asleep.

And this is my self-indulgent life. I don't know if I'm ok with it. It can't be ethical, right? People are starving. All this time I'm spending on myself--it's not helping anyone else. Is this what it feels like to be safe and stable and fed? If anyone stopped talking to me, it would not be devastating. I'm not sure if I'm ok with it, but now that I know I can have it, it's nearly impossible to motivate myself to do otherwise.

I think I'm going to go with it, for just awhile; my plan is to take the next year off of school and just. . . do what I want. Just do this--just read and garden and sleep and cry and talk to interesting people pretty much whenever I want. Most people have a life at some point, don't they? Even the ones who then give it up to fight for Truth and God and The American Way?

1 comment:

Carrie and Seth said...

My take is that we can be of a lot more use to others when we ourselves are happy. It certainly isn't selfish to spend time with family or... heaven forbid... enjoy your classes. Or just enjoy life. It is a grand thing to be happy. And that in itself can serve and lift others more than you might think.