by: Joelle Charbonneau
While talking to a friend the other day, I was asked the question, “When do you have time for you?”
Time for me?
The question stopped me dead in my tracks. Perhaps it shouldn’t have. But it did. Which probably isn’t good. Most days, I’m so busy taking care of my son, making sure the house doesn’t dissolve into complete disarray (notice I didn’t say keeping it pristine), teaching voice lessons, getting dinner ready for my family, spending time with my husband and somewhere in the middle of all of that getting writing done. Who has time to take time for hair cuts or movies or anything else that might be considered “me time”?
Now that I think about it, I realize that the time I’ve always considered “me time” is actually writing time. For years, writing felt like a hobby. I sat down and wrote stories. No one was paying for them. Heck, aside from my family and a few brave agents no one read those stories. Was it work to create them? Yes. But the lack of income made me rationalize that the time spent on those stories was time spent on me. It made me feel less guilty when I was writing instead of cleaning toilets or scrubbing the floor. Good plan, right?
Then. Yes. Now…not so much.
Almost three years ago, I transitioned from writing as a hobby to writing as a job. But I never transitioned from thinking about my writing as time spent on me to time spent on my work. And that’s a problem. I mean, we all need time to recharge our batteries. Right? We need to get a haircut (which I only remember to do one or two times a year) and a manicure (which I’ve only done once because my mother insisted I had to) or a massage (which some day I plan on doing). No matter what job you are doing, and how much you define yourself by that job—you need time away from it in order to be the happiest, healthiest person you can be.
Of course, now that I’ve worked that out, I have no idea how to set aside time to spend on me. This is where you come in. I need help. Lots and lots of help in figuring out how to make this happen. How do you do it? How do you spend time with family, do your work, make sure the house doesn’t disintegrate into chaos and still carve out moments to do something you enjoy just for you? Trust me when I say, I will be waiting anxiously for your thoughts!