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Women are always busy juggling roles. But it’s ok to apply the breaks once in a while; to steal a few minutes for yourself. That’s where happiness resides.
From the time the eyes open to the screech of the alarm to the time the soul drops back to the bed, we women shapeshift as wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, friend, home maker, professional, student, colleague, neighbour and more.
In all these roles, we manage the multiple threads attached to it relentlessly, day in and day out. As coded in our DNA, we are the superstars of multi-tasking and multi-threading. In a day’s work, some roles are challenging, some are tiring, some are surprising and some are just a part of the routine. Every day is a new book with its own introduction, storyline and conclusion. Irrespective of how prepared we are and our awesome planning, we deal with situations that toss us up and down in its entire length and breadth. At the end of the day, we succumb to our bed with a mix of emotions.
But then, in this entire hustle bustle, do we ever think of the amount of time, we actually spend for ourselves?
The ‘Me, Mine, Myself’ Time.
Sounds selfish? Yes, it will! As long as we don’t realise, how essential it is for us.
First of all, to start with, I would like to highlight that this ‘me time’ is a bunch of seconds or minutes which is dedicated for us, entirely. The activity we do during this time is entirely ours, which benefits only us. It can be something that enables to us to relax, relish or something that enables us to sharpen our talents or something that makes us feel happy.
We hardly have a relaxed tea time. We usually sip our tea, as we pack our kids’ stuff or as we cut our vegetables for the lunch or standing in a meeting along with our colleagues or on the way to work or with a bunch of our friends in the cafeteria. In all this, we are either drinking it as part of our routine or the focus is on socialising. Nowhere, we are relaxing or relishing our self or the cup of tea or coffee.
Let’s try and take out 5 to 10 minutes of our time in the morning and evening, with a cup of hot coffee or tea, all alone in a balcony/café relishing every bit of the flavour and letting our minds to wander across all our dreams, realities and possibilities.
When it comes to prayer or meditation times, we feel who has time for that? It’s an activity we allocate for our anxious times or our times of crisis. It’s not that we completely take it out of picture, but then we push it back. Though we know all the benefits of this time, we hardly put effort to factor it in our day-to-day schedule. The 15 minutes of quietness in prayer/meditation gives us hope, strengthen our dreams and provides visibility about the road ahead of us.
On a busy evening, we look out to realise it’s a full moon day and we move back to our routine of washing utensils or arranging toys or finishing the unfinished work on our laptop. Sometimes, we get nostalgic about how we were lying happily on our back on our terrace drinking the beauty of the moon with all our eyes during our teen days and despite that realisation, we hardly give a second glance to the moon.
Oh, where has the voracious reader, gone? Where are those days of stacking our shopping bags with books and pretty book marks? The famous reply is, “Oh! Come on, where do I have time?”
This is one of the most crucial investment, which is famously ignored. All it takes is an hour of gym or work out time on a daily basis or thrice-a-week basis. The one hour of gym time tones us, moulds us, and there is nothing like feeling beautiful and fit.
Go to the parlour once in a while. Spend an hour or two just for yourself. Pamper yourself.
Take a break and watch television. Surf through various channels and watch something hilarious or something that touches you. Treat yourself to a few minutes of pure entertainment.
Where is the girl who rocked the college with her dancing skills? Where is the girl who topped all the extra-curricular activities? Where is the fashionista? Where is the traveller with her wild stories and experiences? Where is the girl who pampers every friend of hers with innovative hand-made gifts? Where is the mesmerising singer? The list could go on and on. Find time for your passion like writing, blogging, reading, cooking, baking, grooming, dancing, cycling, painting, crafting, rafting, driving, singing and travelling.
The moment we see a list like the above one, we tend to say, “Come on, I am doing all this and what is the big deal in dedicating the time for this?” That’s where we tend to misunderstand. If we give a closer look, we will realise that most of the above listed activities is just a sub set of our other primary activities in our daily routine or something that has disappeared in thin air amidst our busy life.
In my experience, I have seen that we fall into this pit of forgetting ourselves from the time we get married. It aggravates when we become mothers. As we fit into the role of a wife and mother and square in the streams of being a home maker or career woman, we gradually get entwined with relations, roles, demands, acceptance criteria and meeting expectations, and pursue tirelessly to out stand in all of them. In this process, our energy, emotions and dreams are all fed into being the super woman who manages home, family, work, kid and relationships; all at the tip of the finger. We excel, we reinvent, we fall, we rise, we shine, we inspire, but then the only thing we miss is the habit of providing some attention for ourselves.
I totally agree that our life is not going to be the same once we get married and is never going to be the same once we get into motherhood, but then if we really care about our family, we should invest time for ourselves.
It could be just 15 minutes or 2 hours in a day. But, start factoring the me time in to your lives. When we spend time relishing the things we like, we enable ourselves to do more. The thin smile in response to the aroma that raises from the coffee or to the way the moon or morning star looks back at us, rejuvenates the energy within us.
An hour spent in the activity that we are passionate about, will enable us to realise the potential that is hidden within us or make us see the talent that we have forgotten in the long run. Spending time on our passions is not always about bringing an output and exhibiting it in social networks or in a public forum. It’s all about our heart’s content. There is a magical happiness that we experience, when we see that we are able to write a story of two pages, dance in all the elegance, craft a beautiful chest from a cereal box and few colour papers, write a poem seeing the little green leaf in our garden and the list goes on. This investment will gradually let us realise our capability.
In the first three years after my wedding, I was trying my best to fit in as a wife, a mother and a career woman. In all the ups and downs, and in all the success and failures, I was missing something. It took me another two years to realise that the time I spent for myself is very less. Somewhere in 2011, I started to slot in some 20 minutes for work out, another 30 minutes for prayer and one hour for reading. Honestly, I was not successful. I kept trying and by 2013, I figured out ways to fix some time for myself. I must confess that it was hard work, but the dividends I got out of this investment were worth the deal.
To have a nice cup of tea and some quiet time for prayer, I definitely have to wake up before 06:00 AM. To have my book time, I have to excuse myself from my friends and take my own place in the train on my journey to work and go on with my reading. Initially, it was hard to move away from my friends who travel with me every day for 35 minutes. But then, I did not want to miss the time that enables me to read 40 pages per day. To have my gym time, I have to work relentlessly from 09:00 AM to 12:30 PM, so that I can make the best of that one hour from 12:30 PM to 01:30 PM in the gym. To get this done, I have to miss having food with my colleagues and miss lots of chit chats and gossip. But, as a mother and career woman, I can’t imagine getting any better time than this to ensure my work out routine is done without any miss. To write or blog, I have to wait till my daughter falls asleep to fire up my laptop.
In all the above stuffs, I do not succeed always. Though I try my best to make them happen, there are situations, circumstances and my very own emotional swings that mess up my ‘me time’. But then, I recover; I pat myself and start over, again. This is my treat. If I am not ready to treat myself, then who will? I require this treat to keep myself happy, realise my worth, and bring out my potential and surprise myself. This is my fuel for the relentless marathon, I run, day in an day out.
The fire always starts within you. No matter, how much motivation you get from external sources, unless you kindle it, it will not be lit. To light that light of yours, you should first spend time for yourself.
Remember, when you invest this time for yourself – you will renew, discover and invent yourself.
Image of a woman enjoying her breakfast via Shutterstock
Dreamer. Reader. Traveller. Foodie. Lover of Life.
I create my world at dianajanetjoseph.wordpress.com
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