Me time is not selfish time, nor is it a wasted effort. It is time that I have come to discover is quite important to bring the best of myself forward into the world and into the lives of the people I care about. I didn’t always know this.
Upon the arrival of my first born and lacking the support or proximity of extended family, parenting was a 24 hour, 7 day a week job. My husband had a demanding job, limited hours and an even more limiting idea of his place as parent. I also lacked women friends as I was new to the area. It was, as you can imagine, an incredibly challenging time. Not just because of the role shifts, but because the thing I needed most, me time, was a gaping hole.
In her book The Happiness Project, author Gretchen Rubin talks about the importance of women friends and time spent with them, as important to both women and the men with whom they are in a relationship. Apparently, we are less lonely and more happy when we spend time with other women. While I certainly loved my children, the 24/7 parenting took it’s toll. The adage, all work and no play makes a dull girl or boy, is true of us all.
Neglect “me time” and risk losing your “want to”
When we take on all our roles – parent, wife, community member, employee etc. , and forget about the one constant within them, the me, we neglect the very part of ourselves that has to show up and expend energy.
Engaging in time with me, means putting aside all the should do and ought to and must do and inserts, from time to time – want to.
Want to is an under utilized phrase because it feels, well, selfish. Doesn’t it? I want to take a bath, lock the door, light candles and read a book. I want to call a friend, go to a craft show/concert/gallery/coffee shop or whatever and be…me. When we do that, we keep the relationship with ourselves going. We keep alive the sparkle and flame that fans the traits that are uniquely me. If we don’t, when we don’t, we can arrive at the other side of a relationship – marital, parental or personal and not have any idea of how to answer the want to option.
Neglect the me time and lose the want to. Lose the want to and we all lose out on the special qualities of you.
Please do tell me, if you can, how you choose to spend your me time, and what your want tos are. Your fellow readers may need some of your ideas about how you keep the “me” alive.