The first house I ever owned was near Otterbein University in Westerville on a brick-lined street: a sweet, 1940-something Cape Cod with beautiful, original, hardwood floors. The second story had a sloped-ceiling and a custom, built-in book case ensconcing the stairs. I put all my favorite things in that large, house-spanning, open space; promising myself I would sit up there, and read, and play with my cats, Zeus and Clio. It was the first room that I completed decorating and unpacking.
All tolled, I bet I spent less than a week there in the year I lived in the house. Really. It felt too indulgent for me--my "have to" list always trumped my "want to" list and relaxing in that room was one of my biggest wants. What was I thinking? What I wouldn't give now for an hour in that comfy chair, reading a book, and feeling the sunlight sneak in through those tiny north- and south-facing windows.
All tolled, I bet I spent less than a week there in the year I lived in the house. Really.
All my life, I have saved the best bite, the best moment, the best...whatever for last. Wanting to savor a moment, I often deny myself to the point of no longer being able to enjoy whatever it was I was putting off. A bite of a burger? Always my favorite part carefully eaten around--the crusty, overdone parts; the bun, all devoured first and filling me up when the best, juiciest, most-flavorful bites got put off...for when I was already full. A trip to London? I've wanted to go there since I was 9. Still waiting for a time to go... Reading a book? Grading, reading for class, creating--er, REcreating lessons...all first. DENIAL. Why?
What am I afraid of? Having what I want? Some joke and say it is my Catholic upbringing...that guilty-pleasures are aptly named. Denial resulting in joylessness is dangerous dogma.