One of the biggest issues that all parents seem to struggle with is the idea of time. Time to do the laundry. Time to do the dishes. Time to run from one activity to another. Time to make dinner. Time to eat dinner. The list literally goes on and on as there never seems to be enough hours in the day for the things that we need. But what about time for ourselves?
I often get so wrapped up in things that I need to do for the kids, for my husband, etc. that I almost never have time just for me. Today I took time – time for me, time to be productive that didn’t mean that I was up in the middle of the night. Normally I work in time for writing around my kids’ schedules. I sit in parking lots, corners of classrooms, etc. in an attempt to get work done. Sometimes I am very successful, and sometimes not so much. But the older I get the better I am at making the most of what time I do get. Usually it is in the evenings after they have headed off to bed – but I am super productive. Weekends I leave them sleep in and go work – or leave them with hubby. Today I am actually sitting in a Starbucks! Enjoying a hot cocoa (believe it or not I don’t drink coffee!) and am enjoying just sitting working, and being by myself. See, being alone is something that is so rare for me that I don’t even remember the last time I was alone like this.
I had to drop my son off at the local high school so that he could take his ACT, and I had brought my computer to see if there was a corner I could curl up in to wait for him. There wasn’t, so I was going to head home to work, get things accomplished – and I saw the Starbucks. I thought why not? Why not take some time to sit and get work done here. By myself. And just enjoy the solitude that it afforded me? Sitting here I remember how much I used to enjoy my days when the kids were in school. I would drop them off, head off to Panera and just get work done. It was terrific, and I realize that I have missed having that time to myself.
We are looking at putting the kids back in school, not a decision I take lightly mind you, and one that I will explore more later on. But it is what they have expressed a desire to do, and I have been looking at it all wrong. I thought, “What on Earth am I going to do with myself? I have spent every waking moment for the last four years teaching them, and when I wasn’t teaching them I was thinking about other ways to teach them!” But perhaps it is time for me to take some time for myself. Figure out where I fit in the bigger picture? Where is my life going? And yes, learn to enjoy it as well for there are going to be days that I am sitting in Starbucks, or Panera, or wherever just enjoying being by myself.
Consider yourself the next time you have a free moment. Instead of looking to where you could be getting “whatever” accomplished, know that you could just as well spend that time working on your own happiness. Know that you could spend your days being productive all day long – but if you don’t carve out any time for yourself you will end up wondering where your life went when the kids have come and gone. You have to know who you are without them – which is a hard thing to do.
So here is to the next step in my development as well as theirs, in the hope that we are all successful in our journeys…