This is where I was a year ago at this time. Today I’m snuggled up inside hiding from the -8 degree windchill.
I crave me time as much as I crave salty snacks during that fun time that rolls around each month for us women.
If I don’t get my me time I get cranky and mean and I shut down. Social settings cause me anxiety. At heart, I’m an introvert. I could go the whole weekend not seeing anyone – stuck in my own little world and be perfectly fine. But, The type of “me time” that I so desperately need can be hard to come by.
Don’t get me wrong – I love spending time with family and friends, I love being busy and traveling, and visiting, and entertaining. But finding the perfect balance between social time and private time is the key.
Carving is the perfect word. It takes an effort to carve out time in your busy schedule. To carve out that little space you can go and be you in.
I have friends that don’t understand. They’d prefer to be busy little social butterflies with their calendars filled to the max. Which is perfectly fine, it’s just not me. When I decline an invite friends may think that I’m being anti social or avoiding them. Or worse, now that I’m married, choosing time with Ryan over time with them. Same goes with Ryan. He used to think that when I would want to go shopping, or go on a run, or read by myself that I was sending him a message that I was upset. That this was my “womanly” way of telling him that I was pissed about something he did or said.
So, I sacrificed.
I over obligated myself and I have made sure that Ryan and I do most everything together on the weekends. I’m always complaining about how I never see him during the week, why would I CHOOSE to separate myself from him on the weekends?
It all comes down to time management. Sure I have a few week nights home alone but I wasn’t using my time productively. I would go with the flow and do whatever needed to be done or whatever was easy. I’d work out, make dinner, and then sit down and catch up on my DVR. Yet, I’d get to bed and feel like I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the day yet. That I hadn’t accomplished what I wanted.
I now know that I have to schedule time that is separate from everything else. Yes, working out makes me energized and makes me feel good. Yes, watching my favorite TV shows with a glass of wine is relaxing. But as silly as it sounds, these still don’t count as “me time”. Personally, I need time that is technology free. Even just thirty minutes of technology free time – no phone, no iPad, no computer, no TV. This is the time I can recharge my battery and start feeling like “me” again.
Yesterday morning I chose to lie in bed alone til around noon. I was perfectly satisfied with my book, my cappuccino, and a burning candle while the freezing rain fell outside. Peace. That was what I was craving. A time that I could focus on my book and take in all my senses.
When I was ready to put down the book and get up, I was prepared to conquer the day. I spent the afternoon in the office cleaning out and organizing and then hit the kitchen to do the same. I paid all the bills, organized some more and curled my hair (something I haven’t done in over two years and I used to do it ALL the time).
The importance of those 30 minutes are completely clear. So, no matter how hard it is to say no to friends or Ryan or to my TV or iPhone I will do it when I feel that anxiety creep in, when I feel myself slipping away.
Now I know that if I can get that time carved into my schedule I’ll be a much more peaceful, happier, and productive friend, wife, and person.
We all have to find that perfect balance in our busy schedules. What works for you?