Me-time, anyone? Yes, please!
I think you would all agree with me that this has now become a necessity. Just like sleep. What with all the frenzy of our daily lives, it has become such an important time that we set aside for ourselves. But often, what we do during this time is never a question. The real question is when do we actually find the time to do it?
Others have learned to master the art of injecting this precious bit of time seamlessly into their schedule like it was actually a part of their daily IT. When I was still working, I sort of had a touch of this art. Like how I would spend my lunch break at the nail spa at the back of our office for a quick mani or to get my brows done or to make a quick trip to the mall when emails are scarce and deadlines seem far. Amusingly, my officemates and I called it “cutting” – short for “cutting classes”. Haha!
Then, when I became a full-time mom and wife, this has become almost impossible to achieve when you have a little toddler who clings on to you like you’re a life-saver almost every minute and a husband who also thinks of you most the same way after a stressful day at his work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my two boys to the moon and back to all the ends of the earth. And I love being their life-saver! It has been the reason why I was willing to put me-time at the far seat. But, it was also why the need for my own time has become stronger than ever. I need life-saving too, right? Or at least save something for myself.
So how did I do it? The “magic hour”. This is the time that I know I can have the peace and quiet I need for myself, but without compromising the hours that my main priorities (my husband and son) need or demand of me. In order to identify this, I had to take note of my routine:
My son wakes up at 6 am and that means the same for me. We have breakfast, play time, bath time, snack time, and before we know it, it’s mid-day already. Meanwhile, my husband goes to work after breakfast and won’t be back until late afternoon. Tino takes his nap time at 12noon to 2pm or 3pm, so that’s my time to eat a hearty lunch , take a bath, and do whatever needs to get done like pay bills online, confirm appointments, do our store inventories, call up suppliers for projects, etc.,. At 2 or 3, Tino wakes up, eats lunch, play or TV time, and we do all other toddler things that take up most of the afternoon. By 5, husband is usually home and that’s when I start juggling my attention between my two boys. We have dinner, give Tino a bath and put him to sleep. Then it’s our QT as a couple – we watch an episode or two of our current TV series, talk, eat, until we both get sleepy around 11pm.
That’s a full day! So where’s my magic hour? This is where I got reminded that a day is 24 hours and not 12, and that I could go out of that box. I have begun to realize that my magic hour is anytime between 12 am, when my husband has finally caught sleep, and 6 am, just before the little one wakes up for a brand new day. Usually it happens around 4 to 5 am, when my body has had some rest and my mind has reboot for fresh and positive thoughts.
It usually coincides with the break of dawn. And it’s such a perfect time of peace and quiet for me, when it’s just me and my thoughts throwing ideas, goals and dreams at each other. I have been calling it “dawning”, which for me, means a whole lot more than just verbalizing whatever I was doing at that holy hour. It signifies new beginnings, new hopes, new things , just like what the break of dawn signifies, too.
And what do I do? I write, read, pray, make skeletal plans and to-do lists for my personal projects, do online window shopping (!!!). It was never a question of what to do, because there are always so many things I want to do. They may not be the same kind of activities I used to do and the kind of “me-time” I used to have, like getting a mani-pedi, doing actual shopping, hanging in a coffee shop. But those are my kind of things now.
I don’t mean to tell you that you should do exactly the same. But committing to making that time for yourself, that “me-time”, does a whole lot of good things for your well-being. It’s a way to nurture your own magic, your own winsomehood. The kind of saving we give ourselves. Try to find that magic hour for you. Maybe it’s your commute from house to work or that last hour before going to bed. Or your lunch break.
When you’ve figured it out, I would love to hear about it.