Living in New Orleans, I was shocked the first time I heard a native say that they had to go “make groceries.” It wasn’t quite the “what was that noise” shock of the first time I heard a western Pennsylvanian say “y’uns,” but more of a “did I hear that crazy Cajun right” shock. Of course, they don’t “make” groceries. The phrase is the literal translation of the French phrase for grocery shopping – faire les courses. Apparently in France, they do make groceries – must be a Gallic thing. Anyway, the idiom was brought to mind yesterday during the Powerful Women forum when panelist Elizabeth Moss said that you cannot make time, you must take it.
Now, on the other hand, my mother [a brilliant woman] used to always say, “You make time for those things that are important to you.” Mother was a chemist/physicist/biochemist/teacher/nerd. Since the roots of modern chemistry are in alchemy, I’m pretty sure that witchcraft is still involved in stoichiometry. However, I’m also fairly certain that Mother and her
coven fellow chemists were creating neither matter nor time. Regardless, we know what she meant, right? You find a place for those things you value.
As I mentioned yesterday, Ms Moss was referring to the necessity of doing those things that nourish ourselves. Her point was that we can’t stretch space-time to add another hour; so, we must take some portion of the 24 hours each day we all have and designate them for our own care. She said that she makes a point to read, have a cup of coffee and ease into her day. That is her ritual. It is her time with herself to get her mind ordered, in the game and ready to tackle the demands on the rest of her time. It is her time to take care of herself and she takes that time because she see herself as important. WHAT?! Yup, she values herself.
When my son was young, I read about a million parenting books. A theme I saw time and again was that by defining boundaries around person and time, a parent teaches the child to respect them. By locking the bathroom door (you know they all follow you in there), the parent says, “I am worth some time and space alone. This is my time. This is my space. You may not intrude into it.” The parent displays a healthy sense of self-worth and indicates to the child that they should value the parent, as well. How easy it is to let this slide! First we talk to them through the door, then we finally let them in, and before we know it, we have no place to get away for even a minute. We have to take that back. We have to give ourselves a sanctuary.
Ms Moss’s statement made me examine my own schedule. When I wrote it all down, I was stunned at how packed it is these days. I’m glad I did write it all down since now I know why I don’t seem to have time to get my basic housework done in the week. I have books to read and letters to write! Where is the time for that? Where is my time for myself?
The truth is, I do take time for myself and you are part of it. I don’t sell anything on this blog. I’m not monetizing it in any way [although I’m open to the idea if you know how! 😉 ]. I was asked to share my thoughts and my process on weight loss and exercise Since writing seems to be part of my soul, I agreed and am having a wonderful time doing it. It’s incredibly humbling to me the number of people [largely strangers] who read regularly, who tell me they enjoy my thoughts and who share them with others. It’s also very helpful to me in sorting my thoughts out and in focusing anew every day.
So, the time I make or take for myself involves drinking coffee that has a criminal record and sharing thoughts with you. What do you do?