Sometimes I need to allow myself some grace. I woke up on Sunday with the reality that I am no longer officially employed. Although I had weaned myself off work gradually by going to only two days a week, it still was almost shocking. On Friday, I was told that I could indeed make that Saturday my last day, and was thrilled. “Isn’t that what you wanted?” I thought, yet I felt unprepared. “Yikes, you are officially retired”, which means I am officially “old”. But, I don’t feel retired at all, rather, I am actually busier now that I am no longer working in the traditional sense. I make sure that I am productive every day on creative endeavors, but the problem is I don’t allow myself some downtime to breathe. I make a TO DO list the night before which is pretty intense. It includes working on my Blog, photography, submitting photos to Stock sites, twitter, Facebook, and on and on. It is ridiculous because when I don’t complete my “assignments”, I feel as if I failed, and I berate myself. I always feel like I am in a race against time because of FEAR that I am rapidly running out of it. Logically I know this FEAR is due to the nightmarish medical condition I experienced, my healthy friend getting MDS, my other friend having MS, etc. The thing is, anything can happen to anyone at any time and I must not let that be my driving force. I would never push a friend to accomplish everything I want to cram into my day, yet I never give myself a break. I often think that spending downtime, having coffee with a friend, is wasted time, when it is therapeutic. I would never inflict the kinds of demands on someone else that I do on myself. I believe giving myself GRACE–permission not to be superwoman–requires practice. I just have to find the time to practice it.