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It's Not About Having "Me" Time, It's About Finding It

me-timeI’m a tip junkie, a link-baiter’s dream. Show me a bullet pointed, how-to list that I don’t find intriguing and I’ll show you a monochromatic unicorn with an eye patch. It’s an addiction, this curiosity and thirst for Surprising Things You Need To Be Happy and 8 Ideas To Steal and 25 Reasons To Put Down The Cheese. I just cannot get enough. I mean, one of these days the secret to life is going to be nestled into list numbers 432 and 433, and I’m going to have not read it, missing the boat entirely. Noah will have shut the door to the ark, no two by two for me. And the rain will fall.

In my heart, I know it’s not true. I know I have everything I need and more, and that the secret to life is that there isn’t a secret. But in my head? I read list after list after list, collecting information as I build a case for myself or against myself or through, down and around myself into complete headspace oblivion.

One such list I unearthed this morning was an elusive call to finding more “me” time, offering quick tips like attending yoga classes and solo matinees and dining alone — all activities that seem far from arm’s reach for the majority of people. “I’m a busy mother who works,” I thought. “I do not have time to catch the latest flick for the afternoon.”

Of course, we all know it’s not about having “me” time. It’s about finding “me” time.

It’s about prioritizing. It’s about shifting schedules and sharing nannies and bartering alone time. It’s about creating a space for your mind to think, your body to rest. But here is what it’s not:

It’s not a checklist. It’s not a productivity bullet point, a “There! Now that’s done,” followed by a sigh of relief. It is an eternal quest and a daily choice and hard work. Finding “me” time is a search, a battle.

It is the conscious decision to turn a pile of laundry into a game for your daughter. It is the intentional choice to turn the radio up in the car — as loud as you possibly can — and sing your favorite song the entire way home from work. Twice. It is the accepted privilege to transform tonight’s dinner prep into a multi-sensory experience, tasting and smelling the flavors with your full self, despite your toddler’s whining in the background.

Finding “me” time is often just the opposite: losing yourself.

And sometimes, if you’re like me, that means losing the checklist. Tell me, how do you sneak in “me” time during your everyday? I’d love to hear!

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