“Me” Time? What’s That?

Mon, September 14, 2009

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P1010018Recently, I was asked to contemplate the following — what is it like to have “me time” back now that the school year has started?  What will I do with it?  Exercise?  Jump for joy? Where is it and how do I find it?

Unfortunately, I’m not very good at carving it out for myself, no matter what the time of year.   And that’s bad, because if I don’t, I tend to have episodes where I melt down and immediate, drastic action must be taken!

It’s my fault, really.  With school commitments for nine-year-old PunditGirl, her after-school activities, my work and family commitments, I usually don’t even have time to work-out, though I am trying to change that thanks to the look my new internist gave me when I told I never have time to exercise and after seeing the results that a friend has realized by committing some time to herself.

This past weekend was one of those meltdown moments.  I needed a little swan song trip to a nearby beach to put up my feet and do nothing, but Mr. PunditMom had no desire to get in the car.  Sure, we had family vacation time this summer which was great, but I needed a a chance to sit back, breathe and not worry about anyone or anything else.  We had a bit of a tiff about it and then I decided — I’m going by myself!  Which was really what I needed anyway — some space and time just to ‘be.’

The thought of a few glorious hours in the car each way to listen to my radio station of choice (or not), time to walk and not be rushed by the desires or demands of others, have a spa treatment, and, yes, do a little work on that book whose deadline draws closer each day, was something I desperately needed.  Some time to think and not be surrounded by the stacks of paperwork, loads of laundry and list of chores that never seem to go away, yet constantly beckon me at home, reminding me of the horrid housekeeper that I fear I will always be, was desperately called for.

So I went.  By myself.  For 24 hours.  It was a tonic.

Going off on my own reminded me the hard way of the importance of trying to carve out more ‘me’ time.  I’m not doing anyone any good by getting to the point where I’m so focused on politics or other things that I can’t find the inner PunditMom anymore.

As a result of that much needed solitude, I realized there are things that have to give.  I can’t say ‘yes’ to everyone or every opportunity that comes down the pike.  It’s never been my strong suit to turn work away, but at my “advanced age,” it’s time to do that if it doesn’t fit into some sort of plan.

PunditGirl reported this morning as I dropped her off at school that while I was away, “Daddy forgot to bring my water bottle to the soccer game and I was thirsty.”  I felt bad that she was thirsty, but part of getting the “me” time also means letting some things go and forcing my family to take on some of the responsibility for the things they need.  Since I wasn’t around to remind them about all the accouterments that are supposed to accompany her to soccer, maybe they’ll remember next time — which will give me at least some mental ‘me’ time.

To their credit, the laundry was done when I got home.  Maybe I should do this more often!

(Photo by PunditMom from a previous trip, not this one!)

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8 Responses to ““Me” Time? What’s That?”

  1. Marilyn (ALotofLoves) Says:

    Last week I was a single mom for three days straight. When my husband got home late Friday night, I was just a tad tired. He suggested (and I quote) “Maybe you should go have some me time at the grocery store.” I think he’s missing the point. Good for you for having me time that was more rejuvenating than a trip to the store.

  2. Donna Says:

    Good for you! It sounds heavenly.

  3. PunditMom Says:

    I think “me time” at a store would involve something a little bit more enjoyable than groceries. Maybe Saks or Bloomingdale’s? ;)

  4. Mary G Says:

    For my taste, ‘me time’ must involve my choice of music or silence; I love the emphasis you put on it. And you are so right to believe that Pundit girl needs to take responsibility for her own water, etc. I did this with my kids, and they grew up very aware of looking after these things (especially after forgetting to pack underwear for a weekend away and being forced to wash out her own underpants every night) and have, as adults, actually thanked me for it. Not without a few growls about mean mom and the underwear, but laughing too.

  5. April Says:

    I’m really glad you went by yourself! On the rare occasions when I have time away from the kids, I’m more likely to just be alone in my own home than out with friends. Even a single mom needs alone time!

  6. Momish Says:

    Oh, how I hear you! I vowed to read more books last year, and I am happy to report that I did. I read a lot and it made a difference in myself, my family and my life. And you are so right, that mental me time is just as important. My mental checklist is as long as my arm at any given moment and my husband’s is just “take the trash out on thursdays”. It drives me crazy! Good for you!!!


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