It was gently suggested to me that I might like to take a day off, one day a week when I didn't do any work for church or for home, nothing that was on my to do list, just something for me that served no purpose at all but simply to renew me and refresh myself.
I would do it I thought. Difficult as it might be to ignore the hoovering, the mountain of washing, the beds that needed changing.
Three Fridays ago I tentatively started my Day Off.
I woke up that morning completely exhausted. No social media or internet for me that day I decided. I needed a guarantee that I wasn't going to hear about some awful incident or Difficult Life Event.
Some days you just need to purposefully make sure you hear only good news. Bad news will still be there the following morning.
I switched the phone to silent and watched a movie at home, by myself, curtains drawn, my choice of film with no one to interrupt me. I could pause it when I wanted to go to the loo without moans or groans or shouts of hurry up!!
I did a very few absolute must chores, had lunch and went to bed. Even though I didn't sleep profoundly, the rest was bliss. I woke up five minutes before I had to pick Little Bun up from preschool.
It was Valentine's Day and that fact has not escaped me.
I've been pondering the issue of being full-time at home and your level of self-care. When you're constantly balancing a tight budget and you're in your 'work' environment 24/7, when the kids don't switch off even at night, it's a challenge to look after yourself. Usually your needs get pushed right to the back of the pack.
I know I've shared it on the blog before, albeit a few years ago, but there was a conversation I had with my uncle whom I had never met before where he asked me what I did in my spare time.
What spare time? I quipped but in my mind I was slightly uneasy as I knew even when I did have spare time I didn't have anything that I did that renewed my spirit and revived me.
I remembered that conversation recently when we were challenged on the Marriage Course to think about our hobbies, our spouse's hobbies and what we could do as an interest together.
Mine are now easy to list.
Blogging, writing, photography (phone photography in any case - does that count?), sewing/crocheting/knitting/craft, cooking, reading, learning guitar, learning to garden and not kill plants.
Finding one to do with the hubster, now that's a completely different story. Does going to the movies count as a hobby??
Having a proper, scheduled Day Off or even the 2 hours a week Marriage Time that we're being encouraged to have has made me reconsider what exactly I am doing with my week. Where are the rest periods? Are there any? When does the hubster get his chance to have some time off? What am I doing when I am supposed to be 'resting'? What drains me? When do I set limits on busyness? What are the warning signs? Am I saying no enough?
And coming back to the book Nice Girls Don't Change the World again, I find myself examining, are the things that I am spending my time on my areas of core strength (and what the heck are they?) or am I spending my time forcing myself into things that aren't my natural giftings?
How about you? Do you find it hard to get off the treadmill? Do you schedule time in for yourself just sit and do something supposedly completely unproductive or unnecessary just so you can rest? Do you schedule in time for you and your partner to just talk? Or do you schedule it in and then forget to keep it? I'd love to hear your thoughts on scheduling a day off for yourself and planning something that you know refreshes and renews you.