The October Manifesto

I’m getting the feeling a lot of us are struggling with permission.

Allowing ourselves to be ourselves, despite what our partners may be reflecting back at us. Being able to be where we are, who we are, and feel how we do, just because we can.  It’s our right.  We don’t have to be granted anything to just be, but we feel like we should, often from our partners or bosses or friends.

I struggle with this, certainly.  I want my husband to know exactly how to respond to me so that I feel like everything’s okay.  I can be frustrated.  I can be bitchy. I can be awesome and loving.  I can be a grown-up who wears the same clothes for three days or spills things all the time or doesn’t handle cardiovascular anything well.  “I’m an adult who did just fine being an adult before you.  I don’t need your lectures or guidance or helpful comments about obvious things.”

And yet, I still want him to be different so that I can be me.

I want my work-people to tell me it’s okay that I’m shaking up their lives for want of less chaos someday.  I want my employees to allow me to tell them what to do (nicely, carefully, always with the expectation that they can respond back with their own input and comments and thoughts).  I want my dogs to be okay that they live boring lives of laying around because I don’t have the time to deal with them during the day. (My cats, obviously, think this is perfectly okay.)

I want to absorb permission and allowance and okayness that I’m me and I do this job and I live this life from those around me.

Except (here’s the kicker): I am me no matter what, with or without permission!

The plan: manage my permission slips all by my very own self.

But I like permission, so I’m going to spend October giving it to myself.

How this could work:

I could ask for permission for things, then grant it to myself.

I could take permission back from those places I’ve carelessly given it away.

I could discover I don’t need permission at all for some things but do (appropriately) appropriately for others, then focus on ways to get it.

While my husband and my friends and my coworkers are part of the equation, certainly, this is all about ME.  I get to decide how I live my life, but I always have, so I don’t feel this requires any warning to them.

How you can be involved (if you choose, I give you permission!)

If I need permission and can’t grant it to myself, I might ask you to give it to me.

If you want to try this thing out with me, you can leave a comment here and I’ll make sure I’m subscribed to your blog if that’s how you choose to do the October thing.  Otherwise, you can leave your updates in the comments of my posts.

Maybe you want permission to want to try having kids.  Maybe you want to let yourself be freaked out and not ready.

Maybe you want to be allowed to hate your job.  Maybe you want to be allowed not to hate your job.

Maybe you want to be the kind of grown-up who chooses to eat cereal for dinner even though her husband prefers meat with his meal.  And you want permission to tell him (kindly, with love), “Honey, I’m eating cereal.  If you want something different, you have my permission to make it!”

You have permission just by being alive, by being you, but if you need someone else to give it to you for a little while, I can do that.


I’ll still be thinking about how to settle into my life through the rest of September, though I might be granting myself the freedom to end that a little early.  At least, I’ll do a wrap-up post so later I can relearn everything I learned this time around.

Will you be joining me in October?


7 thoughts on “The October Manifesto

  1. I feel like I need permission to not be busy. My life, as it is, just doesn’t really require it. I feel like everyone else is moving at light speed, like everything is happening at once, and like everyone else has so much more to do than me. Am I missing something? But, I don’t think I am. Nothing that I prioritize, anyway. I’ve tried to move to the “168 Hours” philosophy of recognizing the difference between not having time for something and not making something a priority. Because I have time for things I consider a priority. Plenty of it. The house isn’t always super duper clean, but I’m not a clean freak and it’s totally livable. I don’t always hang out with friends on the weekend, but not because I don’t have time – because I’d rather chill. And why isn’t all this stuff ok? Why don’t I feel like it’s ok for me NOT to work on the weekends just to get ahead. My schedule, at this time, doesn’t require it, but I feel guilty because I feel like other people are working harder than I am.

    • @Vee, This one I totally get. Back in my previous (super cushy low-pressure) job, I felt bad admitting I had too much time and not enough to do. And you know, YOU’RE A GROWN UP AND GET TO DECIDE WHAT YOU SPEND YOUR TIME ON. If you’re spending it in ways that make you happy and you’re not running around like a chicken with your head cut off, be proud. You have my permission (if you need it)!

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