Last year I was given a notebook that had the words ‘space to think’ written on the front. This year I was kindly given a passion planner by a friend. No – before you ask there is no reference here to 50 shades of grey! This is a specialised diary that allows you to look at your goals, your dreams your focus. It made me think. How many of us feel we have space to think and how many of us really feel we do things that bring us closer to a passion we have?
What I see in the therapeutic context of my work is that most of my clients are constantly juggling. I see this most, amongst working parents or carers. Many people are desperate to be seen as and thought of as efficient and succeeding (otherwise what’s it all for some ask). We run at full tilt for the vast majority of our lives. One of my friends recently commented “dry shampoo and ponytails have become my friend”. Another confided “life’s going so fast I don’t think I can keep up”. Yet try to keep up we do because we expect it of ourselves and we think others expect it of us. This very attitude however means we are doomed to failure. We are so busy juggling the family needs and the work needs most of us neglect our own sense of self. So I ask you, what do you enjoy doing and when was the last time you did this? How do you relax? What did you do for yourself today or this week? When was the last time you took care of you?
A wise friend recently asked me “where is your haven?” I think we should all ask ourselves that. Many of us will say we don’t know. So parents out there in particular, roll back the clock to pre children years. What did you do to have fun? Relax? Be you? Unwind? Who were you with? Did you have time on your own? Very often what we did 10 or 15 years ago is different to what we do now. This can be a starting point, or at least a way to consider how much has changed and if there is a balance.
Sometimes of course we actively chose for things to be different. I’m silently chuffed that at 40 years old, my friends have grown into the age that I seem to have been for some time. There are no wild nights out or being up drinking till dawn break. Honestly I was ready to give that up 15 years ago and quite frankly I was rubbish doing it then! However the point is that 15 years ago I didn’t have to ask anyone or arrange childcare first. I could, even though I was in a relationship, pretty much put myself first. Therein lies the point. Most working Mums cannot remember the last time they put themselves first. I’ve no doubt there are lots of Dad’s who feel the same. So take heart, stop for a moment and look in your diary (or on your smart phone calender if you are so inclined). What have you put in your schedule for just YOU? Take heed, make a small change and take care.
Wishing you health and happiness.