There is a line in Candide which goes, "His master taught him to exercise his own free will so exercising it, he went for a walk." I like that line because I try to remember the idea of free will when I feel bogged down by the stuff I 'have to do.'
Today, for example, I woke up and realized that I didn't have to be at the theater until 5:30 tonight. I had the entire day to myself. So, once I got the kids on the bus, I exercised my own free will and went back to bed. After a delicious nap, I spent a good hour reading the paper over coffee and then went running. After, I soaked my feet and painted my toe nails while watching a ridiculous sci-fi remake of The Tempest. A perfectly grandiose way to spend a day!
Sure, there were things I could have done, including weeding the garden, another load of laundry, or cleaning out the fridge but all that stuff will be there tomorrow. How often do we give ourselves permission to do what we want to do and not what we "are supposed to do?"
I know that my responsibilities are ones that I have chosen. I chose to live in this house, with my husband, and to take care of our two children. I also chose to stage manage Candide knowing it would take up most of my time. By accepting these responsibilities, I agreed to fufill certain duties such as doing laundry or being at the theater at a certain time. But within the parameters that I have imposed on my life, I do have wiggle room for my own free will. And a bad re-make of The Tempest sure beats weeding the garden any day.