I have one thing in life that I tend to postpone: my own leisure. I long for time to take photos, read fiction books, exercise, or just lie on the couch and eat chocolates. But I never get to it. Here’s how a weekend looks like for me:
On Friday afternoon I think I have oceans of time: All weekend is in front of me! I do not have much planned, I will have plenty of time for myself! Happy and inspired I welcome the weekend.
But on Friday night I am tired. I put the book aside and sit with my family instead. In the meantime I read through that pile of newspapers and do my usual intelligence. I work a little, that is. I decide to get up early on Saturday instead. When the rest of the family is asleep, I will have time for myself.
But when the alarm clock rings at six thirty, I feel too tired and gives priority to sleep. And when I wake up again at nine the rest of the family is already awake. We have planned to do some fun things together that I absolutely do not want to miss, and when we’re done, it is time for dinner. Time to cook, that is, and then it was the Eurovision Song Contest that we wanted to watch together.
Now it starts to be short on time. I have so much I want to do and there is so little time left of the weekend. Much of the Sunday will be spent on working, Tia and I will meet and write on our book. I decide to take a few hours myself early on Sunday morning.
Sunday morning I actually manage to wake up before my family wakes up. But now I can not resist checking my work emails. It takes a couple of hours to answer all the mails and provide information. Now I feel quite dissatisfied. I have not got what I wanted for myself this weekend. I only have one hour left to devote to myself this morning, and the maximum one hour tonight. I’m thinking: Of all things that I can do now, what is giving me the most pleasure? I choose to read a book about the art business, and then start to dream myself away to London and all the courses I’d like to participate in on the subject … An hour later, it’s time to go and meet Tia.
I have a pretty high energy level right now in life. It happens very exciting things. I am not exhausted in any way. But it is still not very good that I postpone my free time. The free time is when we recover ourselves, and our brain gets a chance to rest.
To manage to create time for yourself amidst family, friends and job, you must be a good negotiator. You must be able to negotiate with your partner and both of you need to be generous with each other. But you also need to negotiate with yourself. And you have to keep focused. Yesterday morning I sat down, for example, with calendar and wiped away weekend activities that I had booked who were not my direct focus.
For me, it’s hard to plan to do things without the family. I want to be with them and often choose them before to be with myself. But I could have focused better those hours on Sunday morning when I was myself. If I had not checked my emails, I would have had three hours to myself instead of one!
Creating time for ourself is an art that we need to train all the time.