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The Plums That Were in the Icebox

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A few days ago, I found myself spending the afternoon in bed with one of my favorite Norton Anthologies. I wasn't feeling that great, and I had even gotten a lot done earlier that day, but I still managed find a way to start feeling guilty about it. 

As I flipped through the pages and soaked in the afternoon sunlight, streaming in from the window across that recently laundered white bed spread that I love so much, a question came to the surface of my mind and made me feel badly. 

Is this really my life?

The truth is that sometimes I feel like I should be doing more.

I work six days a week, for only four or five and a half hours at a time. This means that sometimes, I think I'm working a lot more than I really am. When I finish up my day and come home at noon, it often seems like I deserve a break. Even if I don't.

But sometimes, I'll go running. Sometimes I clean the apartment. Sometimes I spend hours in front of the computer, getting important work done. And yet, sometimes you can find me sitting comfortably in bed in the middle of an afternoon with a book in my lap and my worn old teddy bear in the crook of my arm. And guilt sometimes seems like a waste of energy.

Because, those moments spent alone with good reading? William Carlos Williams may have been talking about plums, but he was right when he wrote, "Forgive me, they were delicious." And I don't think he was really that sorry. Neither am I.

Yes, this is really my life. 


  1. Girl, never feel guilty. Never. I don't work, I'm applying for disability - Jen doesn't work, she has disability. We spend our days working in our room, and in Spring/Summer, in the garden and such. But a lot of our time IS down time. Which just equals more time for our hobbies and what we're passionate about. More time to achieve goals and successes that we may not have been able to do if we WERE working.

    You DO deserve that time, in bed, with a good book. We *all* do.

  2. Nicely worded. Your life is your life and you get to do what you want..that's the best part.

  3. Don't feel guilty! Enjoy life right now. You never know what's going to happen next. I worked my butt off 24/7 in college and grad school, moved across the country a couple times (STRESS!!!) and now I'm back at home on quasi-permanent Christmas Vacation mode with nothing but time on my hands. I guess it's like being on a calm squishy lilypad in the middle of rushing rapids that I know I'll have to dive into again sometime. Weird.

  4. I would LOVE to do that. I am so jealous of you. Don't feel guilty, you've been blessed.

  5. this feels very poignant in a way i'm not smart enough to understand. that said, from what i am capable of reasoning out, i have felt the same way many times. it's that real "gotcha!" moment that adulthood seems to relish in by dashing your childhood hopes and dreams. but that doesn't mean they won't happen, you just have to be willing to work for them.

    so with that said, put the damn book away and get your ass to work!!!!


  6. i love this.

    and you should soak it up now. don't feel guilty. because very soon you won't get that luxury.

    sooo maybe you should pick up some RHOOC too.

  7. My friend's mom wrote me a note after I got laid off. It was long, but what I took from it is, "You have your entire life to work.and "You have great hair".... I think you can deservingly take both statements to heart. Xo Jenna

  8. I love this so much! Don't feel guilty about needing a break because once you're done, you won't have time (at least a lot of time)!

  9. isn't it so weird how we're just hard wired to work work work all the time? and then feel like we're not accomplishing anything if we don't?

    i say enjoying yourself is accomplishment enough, dammit! enjoy the hell out of that sunshine and the literature. sometimes, there's just nothing better.

  10. I do the same thing, guilting myself, but at the same time, we all need the time to take a little break; there's definitely much about all of our lives that warrant and absolutely deserve a little bit of rest or fun.

    And such a great poem! Oh, Nortons :) An English major's best friend.

  11. I felt like this all week, what a great way to capture this feeling :)


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