The topic of freedom has been on my mind for a while now. During my later teenage years I had more freedom than I knew what to do with. Now there are days when it sometimes feels like my time really isn’t my own.
Honestly I have nothing to complain about in my life, I’m a very lucky guy but some days can get hectic and it makes me wish for a little down time while I’m still awake. As it is I get up early in the morning to try and fit in a run then start work at a good time so that I’m free in the later afternoon / evening to be there to run errands or run kids to where they need to be.
No one kid is in a lot of things, but multiply that by four and it doesn’t take long before the schedule is getting full. For the most part it’s great. I get to watch my oldest ride horses, something that she excels in and loves doing. My son playing soccer with so much energy and enthusiasm. My middle two, daughters who love performing. Whether it’s drama, dancing, or combining the two.Watching them do these things gives me great happiness and I’m thankful that I’m able to be there and am able to provide these things for them.
Dance class can be rather nice break sometimes though. As you’re not able to watch them practice if you can get the errands ran quickly it leaves some time you can go grab a coffee and read a book before it’s time to pick them back up again.
Yesterday I had to go to the library to return a book and then check it right back out again because I had renewed it twice online and couldn’t do it again. It’s a really good book, but I just can’t seem to find the time to read it while my mind is awake.
On occasion where I try to sneak off to get a few pages in the guilt I feel is real. My wife is a super human I’m convinced and that doesn’t help. She never seems to need a break and is always going strong. As there are always things around the house that can be done she is always finding them and doing them. So if I’m off reading while she’s making supper, or vacuuming, that just doesn’t seem fair does it. If I could convince her to take some time for herself it might be better, but that’s a hard sell.
With the kids getting older it seems to be getting worse. They stay up later which takes away from the quiet time we used to get when they went to bed earlier. There are some nights now that the oldest and I go to bed at the same time.
As I mentioned before as a teenager there was a time where I answered to no one. I had pretty much as close to zero responsibility as there was. That wasn’t a good thing either. As it was it took my life down a harder path than I needed to go. There has to be a happy medium though. It’s important to get a bit of time by yourself to recharge.
Maybe I’m feeling this way because for the past few days I haven’t been getting our running, so that bit of time that I used to clear my head isn’t there. When I was running more often last year that was one of my favourite parts. Having a cold has made it tough so I’ve been trying to rest so I’ll get better quicker. Tomorrow might be the day that I give it a try again. The last week when I was running a lot seemed to go much smoother and have me in a better mental state.
How does everyone else find the balance of work, family, and personal time? Do you feel you get enough personal time?
5 thoughts on “Finding Time for Yourself”
It’s tough for sure. I don’t have kids, but between the job, working on starting my own business, and other commitments, it can be tough.
I’ve been reading “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and it’s been helping me to think about “balance” in my own life, and prioritizing (and even scheduling) things in my life that are not “urgent”, but are very “important” (I.e. “Quadrant 2″ items). Spending time by yourself to recharge may be one of those things. Might have to intentionally schedule that in, and try to trim down the “Quadrant 3″ and “Quadrant 4″ items.
(Read about the 4 quadrants of time management here: http://czarto.com/2012/04/24/four-quadrants-of-time/)
Anyway, it’s always tough. Highly recommend the book though, if you haven’t read it already.
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Thanks Alex. You’re right it really is something that should be scheduled in. I’ve had the book sitting on my shelf for a number of years now. Something I certainly need to read.
I found that sometimes the pendulum swings far to either side. Lots of family time, or lots of work, or lots of time for myself. What I try to do is first, be aware. Right now, you’ve got that awareness – you know you’re out of balance and want to correct a bit. Next, reasonably think about the next couple of weeks, and the things that are happening. I will probably be pretty busy with the kids for a few more months as we get settled here and Bob works extra hard at his new job. It’s less “me” time, but it’s worth it in the long run, and temporary. So it’s not difficult to step up to do. When school starts, will you get a bit more of a break, or no? If not, you may want to set a date in the future – a week, two weeks from now – whatever, and go on a date with Jen. Another time, have a date with just yourself. Give yourself a set time (Next tuesday at 2pm, for 1.5 hours) and do whatever you want. Read All the Light, take a walk, build a lego fort – whatever. When your time is up, it’s up. You’ll know it’s coming, so you can hustle to get stuff done ahead of time, and you can take a guilt-free break.
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Thanks Zandy. I think a lot of this post was just me feeling down from not feeling well etc and a particularly busy day. Still not feeling great, but I stayed in bed extra long this morning and that did a world of good for me.
All good advice though you’re right I need to get better about scheduling time like that.