I’ve written before about stolen moments. I take time from myself, for myself. The problem I have is that unless I stop and think about it, I feel guilty about doing this. It’s not that I’m taking the time to exercise, to write, to create art. It’s that unless I make myself analyze what I’m doing, and why, I immediately think of it as stealing time from my family. Which it is not. Now, for instance, I’ve started a digital render on some fun floating cities, and I’m writing this blog, and while yes, I could be washing the dishes that didn’t get done yesterday, I need to do what I’m doing. The kids are asleep. The husband is off to his day at work, and I will be on my way in ten minutes. I need this time to get my head on straight, and this morning? That’s doing something I’ve been craving for days (making art). The kids will be told that as today’s a day off for them, they need to get the dishes.
Making them – asking them, at very least – be helpful around the house isn’t going to hurt them one little bit. Teaching them to clean up after themselves is important not only for their future spouses, children, and work, but for them, as well. We all need to do a little something to take care of ourselves. Sometimes, that really is doing the dishes. Other times? Floating cities!
To complete my thought about building castles in the air, I’m coming back to work on this a bit more.
It’s been said (I am sure it has been said, it can’t be original to me) that if you do not dream, you cannot make it a reality. Daydreaming while watching the clouds, and talking about the castle you will someday build might seem pointless, but that time to formulate what you want is purposeful. I’m watching one of my daughters do this these days, talking and dreaming with her potential partner. We got to hear all about what they would love to do to celebrate their union… and it doesn’t matter if that never happens in the form she was so meticulously outlining last night. They are in no hurry and are talking about ‘what might be’ rather than setting any hard dates. What matters is that they are constructing dreams together, and in the process they learn about one another’s needs and desires. It’s building the relationship.
It’s equally important to do it alone, as well. If you haven’t dreamed your own dreams, and realized their potential for being real, it can be very easy to let them slip away when someone comes into your life with their own dreams and superimposes them onto yours. Your clouds fade away, and twenty years later you look back and wonder ‘what was I thinking? Why did I give up what I wanted so badly? Didn’t I know I could do that?’ Because older and wiser you does know what you are capable of. Younger you had so many doubts, and younger dreams were so gauzy and ephemeral they burned away in the sun of reality.
So take the moments for you, and don’t be guilty about them. You need to grow you stronger, before you can support everyone and everything else in your life. Exercise for the body, and if you can, take it in a way to fill your soul as well. Be efficient about your stolen moments! There’s a reason I will hike for my exercise before anything else. Make art for your soul, and perhaps for profit, or as a gift. There’s nothing wrong with multi-tasking in that way.
And when you steal a moment, relax and lean into it. Be there, for you, and don’t be distracted by the clamor of all the other things. At least, until it’s actually a clamor of a kid wanting your attention. Got to go…