12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: Week 5

Friday, February 6, 2009

The perfect tools for some R & R!

RESERVING TIME FOR ME!

Some aromatherapy balm to calm my senses

A nice cup of tea

A few minutes into my "me" time brought me 2 guests :)


We're on Week 5 of Jamie Ridler's book club for bloggers to discuss Gail McMeekin's book, The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women.

This week the theme is Committing to Self Focus. This issue is very difficult for me.

While I was reading, I was struck by the following quite from Anne Morrow Lindbergh:

Eternally, woman spills herself away in driblets
 to the thirsty, seldom being allowed the quiet,
 the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim.

I believe this could apply to so many women. I know it applies to me at times. Nothing on earth is more important to me than being a mother. My children fill my heart with an overwhelming sense of love, joy, and pure happiness. They are truly my world. I still watch them while they are sleeping. I am thrilled when they give me unsolicited hugs and wet, sloppy kisses.

The boys and I spend long afternoons coloring, racing Matchbox cars, baking, going to the library, and cuddling on the sofa reading Frog and Toad books. I am up with them before the sun rises every morning and in the middle of the night when Ben screams that he cannot find Gertie, his well-worn stuffed giraffe.

In the morning, one of them runs into the bathroom almost daily as I try to rinse out my shampoo just to say, "It's an emergency! Ben took my car!" or "Nick called me a baby!"

There is certainly never a dull moment at Chez Mott. Never. 

When they are asleep or quietly playing independently, I do my work. I answer emails during the day, get orders done late at night and into the wee hours of the morning. Then there is cooking, cleaning, taking care of the dog, spending time with my husband, fitting in exercise, groceries, etc...

I don't make time for myself. I need to make time for myself. Every ounce of energy I have is devoted--rightfully so--to my family, then to my business, and the day to day routine.

The truth of the matter is I realize in my head that it is OK to take time for me. I get it. In my heart, though, I feel so guilty. Guilty for saying, "After I pack this box I will play Candy Land."
Guilty for saying that I am too tired to look for more hard to find objects in the I Spy book. Guilty for saying, "Let's have Cheerios instead of homemade pancakes today." I could go on and on and on and deep down I beat myself up over it.

It is not as if I can't have time alone. Tom knows I need a break at times. He tells me to go take a few hours on a Saturday to go to the mall. I always plan to, and then I feel guilty because that is our weekend family time.

My brain says taking me time will be a good thing. I need to recharge. At the end of December, Tom and I went to our favorite bed and breakfast for our anniversary, and we returned so relaxed and recharged. We needed that small break. Last May I went to see Sex and the City. Alone. I went at 9:30, sat in total quiet and enjoyed every moment of my interruption-free break. It was a looooong day and I just needed me time. It's sad that that was 8+ months ago!

I think my biggest issue continues to be my effort to create a perfect balance. In my life I need family time, work time, hobby/reading/writing/creative time, and guilt free me time.

Tom has his time with the neighborhood guys on Friday nights (they play poker together and share a couple beers). It is good for him. Thinking back, I have been so busy lately that the last time I went out "just because" was to Starbucks with Christine a week or 2 before Christmas.

So my challenge is to commit to doing something I wrestle with every single day: taking time for myself. Without guilt. It is OK to be selfish. Taking time for myself is necessary. I deserve to have a quiet moment every now and then. I need to make time for myself, just as I do for everyone and everything else. Again, without guilt.

I think that we, as women, are everything to everyone all the time and we just tell ourselves, "I'll make time tomorrow." Tomorrow may actually be months away...

I accept that it may take time. I didn't sleep well last night. Tom was snoring, Ben fell out of bed and started crying, and the dog threw up in the hallway at 4:30. When I settled back into bed, the alarm was going off. I decided after lunch that I would take my journal and book, make a pot of tea, and head up to bed for an afternoon nap. The boys were in their room playing with GeoTrax. I knew they'd be fine...plus my husband works from his home office and would hear them if I actually fell asleep.

I made a pot of tea, and carried my tray upstairs...I even took pictures for you to see my "ideal" form of quiet time. Ironically, the boys decided trains were no longer fun and they joined me...they ended up jumping on the bed, so my quiet hour was done in 7 minutes...

This "me time" committment will clearly take more effort...but it will be well worth it. The first step, though, will be to let go of the guilt and accept that it's OK to do this!

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