Friday, January 25, 2013

Pursuit of Happiness - 'Me' time

"I need myself too" : If and how do you take out time for yourself? What is your most preferred 'ME' Time?

When I read the topic as the 'theme-week' topic, the first reaction was to shy away and ignore it - but after a few days of thinking about it, here is a heartfelt account of how I arrived at my me-time and my pursuit of happiness. 

As a child, I've seen my mom put aside whatever she was doing to make time for my sister and I. I imbibed it as a motherhood ideal and did the same for the first couple of years after Button was born. When he was almost 3 (And I was just past 30) reality hit me. I was growing older and I hadn't spent anytime on myself in the last 3 years. Choosing not to work. Being a good mother and homemaker had consumed most of my time, energy and thought, but I wasn't too happy. I felt I hadn't taken out any me'time. The realization brought panic and a few weeks of calming walks and tears gave me some answers and 'nirvaana'!  

First of all, me-time is now ESSENTIAL to my very living. I've come to that realization. As a SAHM, I had to learn to shed aside overwhelming guilt to go out with my friends leaving my child(ren) behind with my 'hardworking' husband. I understood over time that I work very hard too - at keeping my house, caring for the children and making & sticking to a system that allows everyone to be happy. I am the glue in my house and my family cannot function without me. I had to shed my own prejudices about not having a full time corporate career and yet be a contributing member of the society as a SAHM or a part-time worker. Then I had to learn to be happy doing that. Being efficient and happy allows the hard-working husband to be happier at work (which hopefully then translates to professional success). Given these realizations I came to the conclusion (finally) that a few evenings out or a trip sans the family will only enhance my happiness and therefore that of my family, as well as make my kids more independent. In 2011, I chose to exercise the right by two trips - to Isarel and to Bangladesh - with gal pals. Surprisingly, I did have lots of fun. 

  • During the trips I learnt something more - me-time is not time spent by myself or on myself. Its time spent doing something I like. Its time spent in enriching myself through doing or not doing. So story-telling with my son is also me-time in a way. As is going out to a movie-date with the husband. Just as much as coffee with friends or phone-rant sessions with gal pals! 
  • Blogging is another me-time activity. Special mention to Monika for revoking my blog interest! The usual suspects rank high in my list too - reading (EVERY night before sleep, and now when I breastfeed my daughter too) as well as music (mostly when I take a walk or when I am in the car) and of late regular walks (I try to walk 5kms at least thrice every week). 
  • With my 33rd b'day giving me a shock again about my age, I've included time spent on basic beauty care as me-time. 
  • You may've noticed that cooking doesn't figure in the list. I do enjoy cooking, but given a choice would spend time reading or cleaning up! 
  • I'd like to add a part-time role too as me-time, but its far away in the horizon. I'll always battle guilt for having a good degree but choosing family over a corporate career, but somewhere sometime, will take up a role that will give me happiness and time to do everything else I want to. 

My most preferred me-time activity is however traveling. It sings to my very DNA :) Give me tickets and I am ready to jump onto the next available flight to anywhere in the world. Real life interferes many times, but I will travel. Lots. 


  1. I loved the way you wrote this.
    And thanks for a good reminder to add some beauty time to my life ! I so much need to start that ASAP !


  2. Seeing amma has as she was/is, I have always had me-time in my life. Apart from extra hours for my career, when ever I feel the need for it, blogging, cooking, I have now begun some social activities too. There is an orphanage-cum-old age home near my residence. I have been giving them a helping hand. The manager is a 65 year old man and now I help him organize details into his computer.
    Books and Music have had time in my daily life.
    Now I have pulled Arun into spending some time playing chess with me everyday as well.

    I intend to include Gymming into my list very soon (But frankly I am myself too bored to take that extra effort;)

  3. so, agree with you!... Mommies do need time off too :)n that too without any guilt!... phew!..heading for my first ever vacation leaving my daughter...worried n yet excited.. but yeah no mommy guilt here!..

  4. A trip without the kids.. what a thought.. and mine will soon be seven. Really need to make them independent.
    Like you, would love a part time assignment but they're so tough to come by in India!

  5. I love reading all the posts on me-time than writing them myself :-P.

    And now something that might make you smile...
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    Look forward to hearing from you...