As I get older, I find it harder and harder to schedule ‘me’ time, away from my home, family and friends. When I was younger, I believed that someday (you know that ‘someday’ that shines like a neon beacon in your mind every time you want something you can’t have), I would travel without a care in the world. I’ve come to realize that day doesn’t exist.
We become more entangled in other people’s lives, not less. If you think about it, that is perfectly logical. We aren’t going to make fewer friends, but rather we will have a lifetime of friends…and make no mistake–friendships require nurturing just like any familial relationship and hold just as much value in our lives.
Our family grows, whether it is through our own children and their families, our siblings’ families, our friends’ families, or even our work families (as we’ve previously discussed the validity of these relationships in our lives). These are all people who will need ‘just little bit of time,’ which adds up to quite a lot of time…time that we give away until we feel like screaming, “I don’t have time for that!”
How many of you feel like it is so much work to get ready to take a little time away for yourself, that it almost doesn’t feel worth doing it? The preparations: doing everything you possibly can to make certain that life flows seamlessly while you are gone, nearly dissolves your desire to go? I am always guilty of that.
My poor husband has become quite used to hearing the phrase, “I just don’t think I’m going to be able to go,” which I say in an utterly dejected voice…probably every single time I have a trip coming up. After all of these years, he has learned to say these beautiful words: “What can I do to help?” Although I rarely, if ever, ask or need him to do anything, the words themselves seem to ease my burden–I have help if I really need it. (For any men reading, those are the magic words!)
So, enough about the leaving…the actual point of this blog is the value of that time away.
I have just returned from my writer’s week. While I was gone, I was so busy with sessions and pitches that I barely thought of anything else. My mind was wholly distracted with something that I love–other than my family and friends. Although writing is my gig, this would be different for everyone–finding that one thing you most desire to spend [just a little bit of] time doing. Maybe yours would be an all day pampering at a day spa (young moms have little time to spare), or a weekend trip to the beach where you can walk, talk, read, and drink a little wine at leisure, without worrying that you will need to be sober to pick up your teenager.
Upon my return, I am completely rejuvenated. I missed my family. I missed my friends. I even missed my house…have you ever walked in to your home after a vacation, sighed, and said, “gosh, it is good to be home” as you looked around at your surroundings–you almost feel ‘hugged’ by your home? [If not, you absolutely must read my blog, Your Safe Haven, because you should feel this in your home–sorry, decorators are relentless!]
These little breaks, while taxing to arrange and carry out, are essential to your well being. (I had to make those words bold.) If you are thinking about it and wish you could find the time to do it, I say, “DO IT!” Where there is a will, there is a way. When you return, everyone gets a better ‘you.’
Yesterday, my husband and I spontaneously (a word that rarely enters my life) spent the day together…because I missed him (another thing I rarely embrace). I visited six little people [grandkids] who hugged me fiercely [baby Bentley gave me his first laugh], and even a few big people [my children] who were eager for my opinion and thoughts, which is the adult equivalent of a hug. 🙂
One more thought on this subject…this ‘time away’ is good for your loved ones too. The old adage, absence makes the heart grow fonder, holds a lot of truth. While I was gone, my oldest daughter wrote me the most beautiful email about my value as her mother and how it taught her to be the mother she has become. And my youngest daughter came for a visit with her family, and in great frustration told my husband “I can’t wait till mom gets home,” realizing how much I do for visiting family.
A little time away never hurt anyone…in fact, it will help everyone. Just do it!