Searching for breathing space

Me Today

Hello dear readers. It’s been a while. I almost can’t believe it’s close to a month since my last post. It’s February already!

After writing about my new blogging direction, inspiration and personal productivity seem to have slowed right up, photography included. Maybe it was “The Jinx”.

I never believed in “The Jinx” until I had babies. Then I was christened with the variant called “The Baby Jinx”. If you’re a parent, you probably know what I’m talking about. It’s that moment you announce how well they’re finally sleeping only to have them wake 5 times that night.

Anyhow, I’ve been wondering how my 2013 has gotten off track so quickly. It’s partly because I haven’t been able to cobble together enough personal time to reflect, contemplate, plan, resolve. If I’m at work, my brain is 100 percent at work. I can scarcely think of anything else. (Cramming a five day job into a four day week does that to a person.) Once work is done, I rush home to trod the usual evening routine again, and again, and again.

When I’m at home, I’m 100 percent with family and home duties on evenings, holidays and weekends. It’s the four of us, together, almost always. I must admit that this arrangement is partly due to my own variant of guilt that I feel at the thought of running off to “do my own thing”, when we could otherwise have family time. I suppose that line of thinking is not entirely healthy? (Head, convince the heart.)

My personal time is when the girls are asleep and that’s usually the dregs of the day after 10pm, the scraps of time, the leftovers. By that time of the day, I’m zombified and normal, productive thinking has fled for the night. Yet I often attempt to push on, extra slowly and often unproductively, when I instead should be in bed.

I also thwart myself, being mostly an “all-or-nothing” person. It means I’m not very adept at being productive with snippets of time. I feel I need solid chunks of hours to get things done, yet snippets is my reality. So the little things get backed-up, procrastination takes over, mole hills start seeming like mountains and I’m stuck in a state of mental and emotional constipation.

I’d really like to be able to break the cycle somehow and find some breathing space, some refreshment, more inspiration.

How do you find, or maybe make, personal time? Do you schedule it? What do you do with that precious time?

Related Posts

The Tension in Motherhood

The battle between mindfulness and survival

The state of play

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P.S: The photo above is part of my contribution to Project Life 365.The original image can be found on my Instagram account.

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Linking with Jess from Essentially Jess for IBOT.

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13 thoughts on “Searching for breathing space

  1. Its so nice to see you blog again! I think that life with.small children is just hard. Really hard. You just have to somehow gigure out what you need to survive, and then figure out how to make that happen. I hope you are, and will be okay. xxxx

    • Thanks, Robyn. So sweet of you to say. I know you’ve struggled a bit too and it’s hard since your two are even younger and closer apart than mine. Some days I’m just so caught up “obsessing” 100 percent on the one main thing or other and that keeps me going but I know I need to breathe. Funnily enough “Pause” was a word that came strong to me early for 2013. Need to remind myself of that. xo

  2. I do think it is more challenging to make that time when your kids are under four, but still possible. I never thought it was possible to meditate almost every day – and if I was intent on meditating for 20 mins or an hour – it wouldn’t happen. But I can do 5 mins every day. When my girls were babies and sleep was a precious commodity, I still craved that sacred time for me (some of us need it more than others, so it’s a personal choice) – so I made it happen. I put it on top of my list instead of as an after-thought – so that when I did have 15 mins, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it – maybe write or read, relishing an uninterrupted cup of tea, or maybe just looking out the window and daydreaming!

    • Thanks for sharing, Kirri. I know I need to find a way to consider even 5 minutes “sacred” instead of ignoring it as being too short to do anything. Then I never get those other things done and I’ll never find my moment to pause. Funnily enough, “Pause” was one key word that came to me for 2013. I guess my heart, mind, soul is reminding me of this with how I’m feeling. I need to learn to pay attention. xo

  3. It’s so hard to find personal time – mine is often late at night, too, and I’m usually working then so not really having true personal time. It’s so tough!

    • That is so tough, Maria. At least I’m not needing to work at night. Do you have childcare options even for a day or so? I’ve often contemplated shifting my “me-time” to the morning before everyone wakes but I just can’t seem to break out of my night owl cycle. I’ve been a night owl for years.

  4. I’m an all or nothing person myself, and I often find it hard because I get absorbed by a project and if I don’t have time I get frustrated. I’m trying to just do bites of things at the moment, and learning as I go. So no real wisdom here I am afraid 😦

    • But bites of things is still an approach and I’m starting to think, a necessary viable one. It’s hard to fight against our natural inclinations though, isn’t’ it, Jess. It’s just that extra bit of energy and resolve to have to find when I’m already tired and a little (or a lot) frustrated or stressed about it all. But, I need to remember to pause and breathe and just give it a go. In the words of Dr Phil (as my husband always reminds me), “How’s it working for you?” I suppose if it isn’t it’s gotta change! xo

    • It seems like this is an all too common situation for parents, Rhi. No one talks about it beforehand then afterwards…bam! Well, I hope you learn to discover the meaning of personal time at some point. Me too 🙂

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