Making Time for Myself

imageThere’s a scene in Office Space, one of my favourite films, where two of the characters are discussing what they would do with a million dollars. I remember watching the film for the first time several years ago when things were extremely tough in my personal life, and Peter’s response really struck a chord with me:

Peter Gibbons: I would relax… I would sit on my ass all day… I would do nothing.

Yes. This. This is what I would do, I thought to myself. Of course, doing nothing every day would become tedious and boring very quickly, but in the state of panic and anxiety that I had, with such an immense amount of pressure on a daily basis, the idea of doing nothing sounded like heaven.

And now, since my life has changed, I find that I can do just that whenever I can and I make no apologies for it. Me Time has become important. It’s a chance to switch my brain off and relax. My confidence has grown to the extent where I am comfortable in my own company, so during my me time, I’ll take every opportunity to thoroughly enjoy it as much as possible!

I have different routines depending on what mood I’m in. I can easily spend two hours in a hot bubble bath, I’ll watch TV or films that I haven’t seen in a while, I’ll blog, tweet, get lost on YouTube (usually Ellen Degeneres or Jimmy Fallon are the most addictive), or I’ll ring a friend that I haven’t spoken to in a while. I’ll play with the cats, or edit my photographs. I’ll find interesting recipes and attempt them (Nutella Brownie Cakes being the biggest success so far). The Bloke has got used to coming home at the end of a long day, only to be presented with a dish of something random that I’ve discovered on Pinterest and spent twenty quid on buying the ingredients, and inevitably, it’s always a little charred. (I keep telling him that the burned bits are good for his digestive system). I’ll also go into the city to wander around the stores and depress myself at all the beautiful things that I can’t afford. I’ll treat myself to a nice lunch at my favourite restaurants. On a nice day, I’ll go to the top of the library to look at the view.

And on some days, I’ll have a nap for a few hours, just because I can.

Ok, so it maybe isn’t doing nothing as such, but compared to the days I used to have, it’s minimal, and it’s bliss. It’s the highlight of my week, and gives me something amazing to look forward to.

Because, let’s face it – nobody looks back in life and wished that they had spent more time at work… do they?

What about you guys? Do you get chance to have a little time to yourself? What do you do?

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79 thoughts on “Making Time for Myself

  1. This may sound like an exaggeration, but if I don’t get time to myself each day, I become moody and exhausted. If I’m constantly on the go and around people a lot, it physically and emotionally drains me. So either everyone around me is an energy thief or I am a classic introvert. I like to think the former. πŸ™‚

    Glad you are getting some time to yourself now, I think it’s optimal for overall well-being.

  2. This is interesting because I find myself in this exact position – this position I always dreamed of (just not this way) — to not have to work (I quit the job I hated) — to be beholding to nothing and nobody (except my kids). I am a recent widower and I can draw and paint and take photos like I thought would be the perfect life – I can buy any car – I can move anywhere and start over—- but not worth the price to get here – No way!

    I guess this is not the example you were looking for — but it happens – life takes turns.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, it’s so sad when we’re forced to live a life we didn’t want because of things that are out of our control… You have such a positive attitude!

      • Thank you – there is sadness, no doubt ~ waves of it that flood over — but there also a surreal and awkward feeling that follows close by as you adjust – I am getting there.

    • Cave Guy,
      So sorry for your loss. I can imagine that you must have this strange sense of shell shock, following the loss of your wife and the pain of wanting to share your experiences with her. I still have both my parents alive and I can’t even conceive of a world without them. They have been there all my life and even if I don’t talk to them every day, they’re there. They’re part of the fabric of things. Losing them would be like not breathing but then finding you are indeed still breathing and although the most precious thing in all the world to you has stopped, everything around you keeps going. You keep going. I’ve been through quite a few severe health battles culminating in chemo two years ago and I still feel out of kilter. It’s almost like I wasn’t meant to be here but I am and what am I supposed to do now when I can’t go back to where I was? I’m no longer that person and those things no longer matter. Those things beneath the surface are all that matter to me now and above all that’s my kids and my husband and keeping our little family afloat…a little paper boat somehow withstanding the storms. Take care and best wishes,
      Rowena

      • Thanks Rowena,

        The shock is starting to turn into the process of recovery and rebuild – it is more surreal than sad – because I have to keep my kids moving forward – I can’t afford to let it sweep me away. That said – yes, I miss her terribly .

        Wayne

      • Wayne, I know that sense of surreal so well, even though we keep having reprieves. I don’t know if you have any memory tributes capturing her favourite sayings, mannerisms etc but perhaps channelling some of your grief into that would be a good thing to keep her memory alive. On eof the things I’ve been quite conscious of, is that I am also a receptacle o memories of the kids and that “go and ask Mum” and al those stories Mum tells, are important for them to work out who they are. That’s something Dad can do too and ideally you’d have both parents to nut things out with.
        It was my son’s birthday yesterday and as birthdays often do, it went pear shaped and there were arguments. My husband stormed off to work and didn’t even stay for breakfast and the kids got into an argument after school and my mum was in tears. It was a bad day but fortunately, we sang happy birthday at Scouts and it redeemed itself.
        I found myself really missing my grandma who used to ring me along with my grnadfather every birthday but she would talk about when they got the phone call when I was born. It was a very difficult birth so it wasn’t a standard phone call either but I didn’t know that as a child. I found a birthday card where she wrote about the call in it and to have that, means the world to me.
        I’m sure you’re appreciating those little things.
        I read a really good book recently. Max Porter’s “Grief is the Thing with Feathers On.”It is inspired by Ted Hughes poem “Crow”.
        Take care and feel free to keep touching base. It can be hard to find people who understand. Lots of love to you and the kids!! xx Rowena

  3. In the mornings, I write two pages. Every day, that’s my ‘me time’. If I get time to relax later then I read or watch films, take the dog out for a walk. It’s the simple pleasures that matter.

  4. Office Space, brilliant film! I agree, doing nothing would grow tedious quickly, but there’s something very appealing about the idea of not ‘having’ to do anything

  5. It’s so important to do this. One of my resolutions this year was to take a little more time for myself and, on my birthday this week, I had a day where I did nothing. It was great! A real treat πŸ™‚

  6. I love Office Space! πŸ™‚ There is an art to “doing nothing”, I find it’s rare I am actually doing nothing, the other day I was waiting in the g.p. and everyone was on their phones (even though there is a sign up that says no phones πŸ˜‰ so I just sat, feeling the cooling fan in the overheated room blow on me, not pretending to read old magazines, just sat, doing nothing, for a half hour, with my thoughts, and realized how utterly rare that has become, for me anyway. I do think it’s important to switch off completely sometimes, I had had a really stressful day and that half hour just calmed me, and my g.p. appt. went much better than I thought it would because I was stressing so much earlier, but had completely calmed down by the time I went in. I wish I could nap, I find it really hard unless I’m completely exhausted to nap, and it’s so normal in some European countries to have a refreshing siesta, it does appeal to me! πŸ™‚

  7. Reality show binge. It’s totally mindless entertainment and makes me feel better about my life. If these people, will gobs of money, can fight and have so many issues, then I’m doing okay. LOL

  8. This is something I’ve realized in the past few years. I’ve always been the kind of person who feels guilty when I spend an evening relaxing, because there’s always something I feel I should be doing. When my husband’s health began to fail, I needed to spend more and more time with him. At first it was frustrating. I felt like I was torn between things that needed to get done and spending time with him, but after he passed away, I realized how important those moments were.

  9. Hmm – Me Time? It is not something I have much of, although now my boys are bigger and relatively independent, I do have more time. I plan Me Time, but somehow seems to get whittled away with demands made by family members, the pile of laundry that has grown exponentially overnight, or a multitude of other little, menial tasks. I did however take a little road trip not too long ago. I went to a ghost town out in the middle of nowhere. I took photos, explored. Then on my way home, I went the long way back, I stopped for lunch, read my book and relaxed. It was a wonderful and truly blissful day.

      • Oh, I think it was a great post – I am sure when I have more time to do stuff for myself, I won’t have any idea what to do and will fret. Posts such as this give me a glimmer of hope, shows me there is light at the end of the tunnel, when my free time, will really be mine, all mine.

  10. I probably have too much me time but I’m not complaining about the choices I can now make. If I could only eradicate the smidgen of guilt that remains and tells me that house work does need to be done eventually I’d be content…

  11. Me time is extremely important so good for you for finding it out so quickly. I think “busy” is overrated in our culture and our lives so I also try to take time for myself and enjoy the moments. And as you said, no one looks back on their lives wishing they spent more time at work!

  12. My life is filled with Blog, Tweet or mail and I love every minute of it. I can’t say I ever look back and wish I’d spent more time in work. TV as and when I want to take a break and my trusty microwave means no cooking. Life is great.
    xxx Unlimited Hugs xxx

  13. Thanks to my health issues, I’ve had much time to reflect on this. While I love my writing, I wouldn’t always say it was relaxing and isn’t necessarily the switch off valve I need to relax, recharge the batteries and just chill. All too often, the brain is firing on way too many cylinders.
    However, I really love walking along the beach and listening to the waves. There are some places you can sit where the waves play different notes as it were and it can become quite quixotic. I see this as a more active form of meditation.
    I usually take my dogs walking with me and most of the time that’s okay but duty calls and there is the odd altercation with another dog.
    Now, that my kids are older and at school, I get quite a lot of time to myself during the day and usually have my “Nanna nap”. There are family rumours that we have some black Irish blood from the Spanish Armada. So, perhaps I just NEED my siesta! xx Rowena

  14. So much yes. I get drained easily when out and about and/or around people so I need ‘me’ time. It’s not an option. Need to replenish what has been lost, if that makes sense. I don’t get as much time as I’d like but I steal it when I can. (Great movie…makes me laugh just thinking about it!) πŸ˜€

  15. I work nights 4 days a week so my me time quickly becomes sleep time. My weekends are spent with my wife and either watching a movie or reading a book. There are also those occasions my me time includes writing notes for a book I want to write.

  16. Great post, Suzie!:)

    Reading and writing are very enjoyable to me, and also relaxing and rewarding. I’m passionate about them both, and so they’re two things that I can’t live without; that help define me, you know?

    Also blogging, but that’s a different kid of writing.

  17. Pingback: 50 Easy Steps to Make Life Better | Suzie Speaks

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