You are on duty 24/7. You function as wardrobe coordinator and shopper, psychological consultant, social and educational director as well as wife, mommy, colleague, etc. Everyones needs come first, including perhaps the pets. Who is in charge of your time? Who can change it? You may say in your head or even outloud, “but the baby needs… but the meeting has priority…, but my boss needs… but the soccer game… but my husband needs… And on and on…”.
My fantasy is to have a day, or maybe a weekend alone in my house. Let husband take the kids camping (a friends husband recently did this, and we have all been talking him up ever since, hoping our own will follow suite). What I desire most is long stretches of uninterupted time. Time for me, to do what ever I like. To lounge, to clean out the storage loft, to read magazines, to create, to get lost in my head listening to the Indigo Girls or Concrete Blonde really loud, depending on my mood, with no one asking for kid music or NPR news.
While it is unlikely that I will get 48 plus hours or even 24 hours to myself anytime soon, it is realistic to find small chunks of time for me! I have adjusted my expectations, thus reducing my frustration! I can find time to lounge in the backyard for five minutes before tackling dishes or email, while daughter is napping. Time to watch the birds on the feeder while sipping hot coffee before son wakes up. Time to do my tummy team exercises. Time to pick flowers in the garden with out having to constantly intervene to prevent my toddler daughter from falling down the concrete stairs, the dog from jumping the fence after a cat, or my son from impaling himself on his bamboo sword. (These are of course just a few possible distractions from me creating a lovely bouquet).
As I continually review what I have control over, and what I can not control, it empowers me to choose how to spend even a minute of quiet time between clients, on the rare occasion that both kids are happily and safely occupied or sleeping. Yes, I used to spend hours in the gardens, weeding, planting, scheming etc. Now I relish ten minutes of quiet weeding or cutting flowers.
How do you spend your minutes? Are you taking care of you? Not to be cliche, but are you putting your own oxygen mask on before tending to everyone elses needs?
Give yourself permission today and all days to treat yourself well! Create a list on paper or in your head (or ipad or whatever) of ways you can indulge yourself in five minute increments. A yoga stretch, hot cocoa, fragrant hand lotion, breathing air in the garden, studying an iris in detail…
Well, off I go to pick an iris. Make sure you enjoy your minutes today!