Forgiving Myself

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IMG_0850“Were I smarter, more gifted, I could pin down a closer facsimile of the wonders I see. I believe that, more than anything else, this grief of constantly having to face down our own inadequacies is what keeps people from being writers. Forgiveness, therefore, is the key. I can’t write the book I want to write, but I can and will write the book I am capable of writing. Again and again throughout the course of my life I will forgive myself.”
–  Ann Patchett (from The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life)

I’m stressed because I can’t do it all.

Traveling and being away even for short periods of time

can screw up my whole routine.

Then I have a melt down.

I’m overwhelmed with things to do.

I’m told I’m a perfectionist.

I am.

I’m told I’m too hard on myself.

I am.

I’m trying to figure out how not to be those things

forgiving myself along the way.


  1. Joan — Achingly beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  2. Joan Rough says:

    You’re so welcome, Laurie. Sometimes that’s just the way it is!

  3. Learning to love ourselves just the way we are is not easy when we have been told and have believed that we must be something else in order to be loved.
    It can only happen with this self awareness Joan. It may take a while, but know that you on the path 🙂
    Thank you for sharing here.
    Val xo

  4. Joan Rough says:

    Thanks, Val. The path is windy sometimes, but it sure feels good to be on it.

  5. Self-forgiveness is so freeing, Joan. And that comes when we give ourselves permission to be fully human. Lovely writing which strikes a universal chord and captures what we all feel from time to time. Sending hugs.

    • Joan Rough says:

      Kathy, It is VERY freeing. After I wrote this blog post, my stress melted away. Oh, the power of writing!! Thanks once again for being out there!

  6. So true, Joan, so true. I react the same way to travel, even though I love to travel. I’ve given myself permission lately not to write and instead have focused on enjoying the beautiful colors of this fall and playing in the leaves with my granddaughters. Life is much better. Good luck to you as you find balance.

  7. Thanks, Carol. It’s not the writing while I’m away that makes me crazy, it’s all the catching up once I get home that sucks my energy and overwhelms me. I too love to travel and find that unless I plan a writing retreat it’s best to leave big projects at home. I will be doing a quick writing retreat next month at the beach. Can’t wait!

  8. I could have written this verse, but you did – and it describes both of us at times. I definitely understand the off-balance feeling adjusting to home after traveling for awhile. Since July I have flown to PA twice for extended periods with a third trip coming up to settle Mother’s estate.

    Thanks for commenting on my post today. I admire all of your accomplishments and I join you in your desire to be more self-forgiving, more flexible.

  9. Marian, Thanks so much for your kind words. I think most anyone could have written those words. It’s a common result of living our lives and doing the best we can.

    I hope your next trip will be the end of what I know is a diffiult process and that traveling in the future will be for pleasure.