Remember those days pre kids when you had time on your hands. Twiddling thumbs, pondering thoughts; what ever shall I do with myself today. Evenings were spent quietly relaxing, pampering yourself or taking hours to get ready for a good night out. A whole lot of uninterrupted quality 'ME' time. These days I am lucky if I get 5 minutes alone to use the bathroom... and what is it about the bathroom that attracts the entire house to enter as if you a handed out an invitation for an intimate party, even the dog comes in and makes him self comfortable! Reminds me of the children's book Five Minutes Peace. As Coco is getting older I am realizing how much 'ME' time has vanished and actually how these days 'ME' time also takes work. Sounds ridiculous but some of it has to be scheduled, I know some of you even schedule sexy time with your partners to make sure you get it in. It is what it is, might not sound ideal but you have to do what you need to do to take care of yourself. ME time doesn't always have to be a big event because some days we just don't have the hours so I look for moments. For me these are tiny windows within my day which I slow down, pause and be in the present moment. It usually starts first thing by washing my face, being a sucker for scents I throughly enjoy this ritual and I take my time with it, breathing in deep. I feel centered and calm. I find moments like this through out my day, and so I begin a series of posts which reflect some ME time.
Reading has been a challenge for me ever since Coco was born. I was captivated by her innocence and her beauty the moment she was placed in my arms. From that day on I gave everything I had to her; every minute of the day was spent with her or doing things for her. At the end of my day too exhausted for anything, sleep was the first thing on my mind. This used to be my reading hour. If I am brutally honest I could probably count on two hands the amount of books I have read in the past 5 years. Now I want to hide behind both those hands but it is the truth. Sure I have read parenting books, educational books, therapeutic books, hundreds of children's books, cook books, coffee table books but I am talking about a good novel, one that you put your nose into and you just can't put it down. Even on vacation I set myself up, I try to carve out the time but between "mom can you come here" and " I need help" comments every other 5 minutes it really takes you out of the book. So this year I had to switch it up, if other people are able to do it there must be a way. I came to realize that part of reading is self discipline. We live in a fast paced world, constantly racing against the clock. Jumping between emails, texts, calls and social media platforms. Work, family, school, sports, laundry, groceries, bills, exercise, There is a lot going on. It is hard to find the time even for the things we love, so when trying to get in a discipline such a reading it falls low on the daily must do's. I love reading, it helps my brain function, it opens up my imagination. However it is not a mindless moment, such as a getting a manicure or zoning out to some reality tv show, or getting into a deep scroll on instagram, which seems to be the way most people are spending their ME time. We're tired and want to zone out, I get it. Over all though it does absolutely nothing for my soul, I feel zombified after. Not refreshed, recharged, centered or content. I actually feel even more tired and less like I had ME time.
I want to feel good. I want my mind to feel alive. I want my body to feel energized. My ME time is quiet time but it should be time where I shall benefit from it. It can be as little as some deep breathes allowing more oxygen to move around my body or as big as a 20 minute meditation followed by a massage. Reading needs to be apart of my daily journey. To focus, to learn, to be present, to be captivated. Reading helps relieve stress, increase tranquility, improve analytical thinking, vocabulary, memory and writing skills. So to get to my point... In order to do this, I have to schedule it. I need my environment to be inviting, to really make this become a ritual for me. I found lunch time to be best; I make a healthy plate, set the table, add some flowers and grab my book. I have created some peace and beauty in my space for me to sit still for 10-20 minutes whilst I read and eat. I set my timer depending on how busy my day is, I can usually manage 10 minutes no problem. If I need a further 10 minutes I try to incorporate it into my daughters bed time routine. After we are done with all her books and say goodnight, I will sit with her while she falls asleep and I will read my book quietly. The idea is for it to become part of your day, part of your natural rhythm and routine. Once the discipline is set it becomes more natural and more rewarding. I wish that reading came easier but we seem to be the beginning of a generation who turn to social media at any given chance instead of sitting with ourselves. I hear moms all the time say to me, "I wish I had time to read". I promise if you make the situation appealing and make it become apart of your day, it will become easy and enjoyable again. On days like today where I am blogging away staring at my screen for hours, I step away between loads of laundry and lunch. Speaking of food, I am hungry and I am going to set up my reading oasis and dive in. Hope you will join me.
It I would love to hear tips on how you get time to read and any book suggestions for the summer, I am ready to jump in!!!