With Valentine’s Day, there are plenty of commercials about dates and gifts. While some women may swoon over the diamonds, flowers and elegant date night, when given the chance, I put in my request for time to myself.
Life Has Been Loud Lately
I’ve felt stretched in staying afloat- following everyone’s schedule and keeping everything together.
My mind has been craving some decompression and a visit to an old friend. That friend being myself, in fuller energy and clearer thinking. Me, in line with things that once set my soul on fire and kept me talking for hours.
In order to have this time, just to myself, I requested a hotel room 15 minutes from my house last year.
I was thrilled about sheets I didn’t have to wash on a bed I didn’t have to make.
A bathtub where I could soak, undisturbed, until my fingers pruned.
A pool and hot tub where I wasn’t playing lifeguard to any little ones.
A TV with myself as the sole controller of the remote.
The choice to sit in pure silence if I wanted.
Making Time for Myself
On the drive over, I felt tempted to ask my family to stay with me. I was tempted to call up a girlfriend and invite her to the “retreat.” The concept of being totally alone felt a bit foreign and uncomfortable to me, but I needed this time just for me: my mind, my body, my spirit.
Before I loved my kids and even before I loved my husband, I loved other things:
-Whiney 90’s music
-Long, hot baths
-Dancing in a room by myself
-Dancing in a room full of people
-Traveling (even just day trips!)
-Beer on tap
-Shaving my legs
It’s not so much that I don’t love these things anymore, but they don’t often find a place in my day to day schedule.
Sometimes in parenting, we can get lost. Our own personality, desires, and quirks can be overshadowed by the needs of little ones and the demands of daily life. I’m not complaining, but I also see the problem with this. When we overshadow ourselves, little by little, we stop living as fully as possible. We get sucked into more routines and less intention. We carry this subliminal sadness for what we aren’t experiencing within ourselves.
Right now in my life, it’s not the season for long daily journal entries and untimed baths. It’s not the season for shaving my legs regularly while refreshing my face with a face mask. My dancing, well it is usually something from Paw Patrol instead of Dashboard Confessional or Usher. But sometimes, sometimes I need to tap back into those parts of myself to remember that as much as I love the rhythm of life that my family has brought, there are parts that are unique to me and my independence and just because things have shifted, doesn’t mean they aren’t still important. What is important is making time myself and placing an importance on self-care.
When I take a little time by myself to visit those old loves, and I returned feeling more refreshed. I love my life as it is now, but I also won’t forsake those earlier loves of mine.