If you’re a parent, chances are that getting time to yourself is somewhat of a rarity. Maybe you get little pockets of time during kiddie naptimes, or when the kids are at kindy or school. Or maybe only on the odd occasion when someone babysits your kids. When you finally do get that little window of time, with no small people around, what do you do with it?
Often the list of possible things to do comes flooding into your brain: cleaning, tidying, errands, sleeping, relaxing, something fun? I fairly quickly realised that there would always be more jobs, more cleaning and more errands. And when I used the time to do those things, I’d feel unsatisfied and ripped off at the end of it.
The best thing you can do: do what feeds your soul.
Because these times come so few and far between, it can be hard to remember what it is you actually like to do. I certainly found that to be the case. Especially if the opportunity for time to myself came up unexpectedly – sometimes Mum or Dad offered to take the kids at the last minute. I’d spend half the time trying to work out what to do with my time, feeling like I needed to make the most of it but trying to remember what it was I actually liked to do. I’d kind of lost touch with myself amidst too many nappies and too much sleep deprivation.
I sat down one evening and journalled about things that feed my soul. What do I love to do, what makes me feel alive and energised? What did I used to love to do? I wrote down everything that came to mind.
A few of the things on my list include:
- Making things – I love creating and making things, particularly craft and sewing. I’m currently making this dress for Ruby’s birthday, and working on this cross stitch.
- Reading – I’m a bit of a non-fiction junkie. I just love learning about how to do life better, how to live better in community, and how to find my purpose in this crazy old world. Currently by my bedside table are The Vertical Self, Dumbing Us Down, and The Selfish Society.
- Fresh Air – going for a run, a walk, watching the sunrise (haven’t done that for a long time but it is something I love to do!)
- Organising & Decluttering – geeky I know, but the sense of freedom in releasing the grip that “stuff” can have on you (by getting rid of it) actually does energise me.
This little list has been so useful, reminding me what things are life giving and energising, what I should try and factor into my day, or at the very least do when the kids aren’t around.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what feeds your soul. What makes you feel alive? What do you love to do when you get half a chance?