It's raining today; a steady outpour of heavenly water that keeps me from stepping outside. I like these kind of rainy days. My house feels like a safe hide-away from the world. It's warm and dry and on days like this, it's easy to indulge myself in relaxing activities like gaming, meditation and the preparation and eating of good food. It's a family day. The lights go on when I awake and only go out when it's time for bed. It's a wasted day and I enjoy every moment of it.

If you're anything like me, you're hard on yourself. I'm a perfectionist at heart and I tend to do too much in too short a time span. I overdid it yesterday and I'm paying for it today. My body is a mess, everything hurts and I've been exhausted since the moment I woke up, even though I had eight hours of wonderful sleep. It's been worse, but it's a reminder that I need to take better care of myself.

I'm not very good at taking care of myself, to be honest. I've gotten better at it over the years. I've learned to plan my workload so I have at least one day in between deadlines to relax without feeling guilty about it. It's a concept my mom introduced when I was in elementary school; she called it 'baaldagen', literaly translated into 'bummed out days'. I hated going to school, so every year I got four days on which I could stay home and, if I wanted, my mom would take me somewhere. These are some of my favorite moments with my mom and of my childhood in general.

Now I'm an adult, I plan these days myself. Even if I know I'll pay for it the day after, I sometimes take a 'baaldag' and do something I want to do so I can recover myself a bit. It usually gives me the energy to get through the next deadline.

I think one of the major points that drew me to Paganism when I was young was the throw back to days where life was simpler. There was less stress; life followed a standard patter everyone was aware of. Staying alive was care number one. Family and community mattered a great deal. Now, we're all individuals, fending for ourselves and our immediate family. We've mostly lost our community.

Myself, I work in the communication sector. I make my money with information, not goods I have created with my own hands. I wish I did. On days like these, I would sit near the open window, look out at the rain and craft whatever I would sell or trade. I would take this wasted day as an opportunity to craft, without temptation to head out and wander off. I'd offer to the Gods and thank Them for giving me this opportunity. And above all, I would bask in the knowledge that I was adding to the world, in my own small way.