Alright, I know it is actually Tuesday. Monday was so entirely booked up that I didn’t get around to posting my blog. I’m only a little late.
This week is about remembering to schedule some Me Time. It seems like we are all so very busy all the time. Work, families, church, home & yard, etc. But we forget about taking time for ourselves. There is truth to the old saying ‘if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’.
I will bet all of you have some form of calendar or planner or phone or computer app that keeps track of your schedule, and no doubt the schedule of everyone in your household. You always know your work schedule of course, and the work schedule of anyone you live with. You have to. But I will bet you also keep track of everything else going on. Dr. appts, volunteer activities, kids play dates, meeting times, etc. You schedule all kinds of things so you know when and where everyone has to be. You probably make sure your family has plenty of activities, and keep them all scheduled and on track. Piano lessons, ballet lessons, swimming lessons, soccer camp, sleepovers, etc. You also manage to schedule grocery shopping, haircuts, laundry, oil changes, birthday parties, and dog groomers. It’s a busy life we lead.
But do you schedule time for you? A lot of people (well, mostly women I think) tend to only take time for themselves when everything else is done (like that ever happens!) or when there are a few minutes in between other scheduled appointments. We try to rationalize to ourselves that we need to be responsible and take care of everyone around us. We think we will have more time to ourselves at some mysterious later time. But that is not the case. We need to make time for ourselves. And while some of us may be able to schedule time for a Book Club, Quilt Guild, or Manicure (which are all good things to do), most of us don’t schedule time to just play or goof off or do nothing. We don’t take the time to have uninterrupted time to ourselves for whatever we want to do. We feel guilty about it. (I’m pretty sure your kids don’t feel guilty about playing!) How about curling up on the sofa with your favorite magazine with a cup of tea? Or going into your studio or sewing/crafting area and just playing with some of your supplies, with no project or end product in mind? Maybe you just want to take a nap?
If you don’t make the time for yourself, nobody else will. The chores and other responsibilities will always be there. They don’t go away and the list is never 100% complete. Taking the time to recharge or refresh or relax or just plain goof off (I know it is very irresponsible) is absolutely vital to your health and well-being. And in turn, that means it is vital to everyone else around you (co-workers, friends, family, pets). Taking the time to spend on ourself, while it seems counter-productive, actually helps us to better tackle all those other items on our day-to-day list. But we are constantly at battle with those little voices in our heads that tell us we are being selfish, or that we don’t have the time or resources for it, or that we have too many things to do and can’t possibly take any extra time out of our very busy day for ourselves. Blah, blah, blah! The message we are sending to ourselves, is that we don’t think we are as important as everyone around us. That those other needs of other people (or pets or home or garden) are of higher value than anything we need.
Stop thinking that way. You are important! You are vital! Your needs are just as critical to your well-being as anyone else’s might be! So when you are scheduling music lessons and vet appts and the plumber to fix that leak, take time to also schedule some ME time. Just jot it into your calendar like every other appt you take care of. And treat it like one of those. You take the Dentist appt seriously by showing up on time. Take your appt with yourself just as seriously. Don’t erase it and put in something else that comes up (that you somehow think is more important). In fact, don’t put it in pencil – use a bright colored permanent marker to write it in there.
Now set up a regular scheduled ME time in your planner. How about once a week to start with. Go do it right now. And then follow through with it. Don’t think that when that ME time shows up that you can decide to pay bills or run to the dry cleaners instead. Use the time for yourself. Recharge and refresh and relax. Do something you enjoy and that you usually don’t get much time to do. And be sure to let your family know that you are not to be interrupted and don’t forget to turn off your cell phone too. Pure uninterrupted ME time. Sounds pretty nice to me.