Do you ever take time for yourself?
Allow me to share something that's been on my mind these days, because I am certain that it might resonate with a couple of you.
Monk Thomas Merton may have said it best back in the 1960s:
To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times. Frenzy destroys our inner capacity for peace.
Thomas Merton died in 1968 during a time when there wasn't even e-mail around, so can you only imagine if he were alive today? Wonder how he would react to the "frenzies" of our times?
Reading these words made me stop and think about something that has been bugging me recently, and I suspect it might be bugging many other women too. In fact a dear friend whom I was chatting with yesterday (via computer of course) admitted to me, "I've been to busy these days to concentrate on my life."
This set my alarm off because I've been that busy too. Insanely busy. So immediately after reading her lines I stopped on my tracks, closed the computer and stared out the window.
We have all gotten used to hearing about women who do too much, multitask, lead hectic lives and do not have the luxury of five minutes for themselves, But we don't seem to realize that this is not Ok.
But we all just keep going like this because there's no other way right? Or at least that's what we tell ourselves.
We have to go to work, we have to raise our kids right, we have to run a million errands, we have to keep home, we have to be fun, we have to be serious, we have to be everything for others--so, usually we come last in the list.
Have you ever considered that maybe--just maybe--we keep ourselves so hugely stressed and busy, to avoid confronting deeper issues? We allow ourselves to surrender to distraction and commitments because that way we can justify ignoring ourselves by saying, "I have no time to do anything else."
What if we disconnected and left our computers, phones, iPods and TV's off? That action would probably force us to think about all the things we're not doing right?
I think that what Merton was talking about when he said "succumbing to the violence of our times" is actually to succumb to doing all that we think we have to do, and not doing what we want or what we need to do--for ourselves.
Moms, give this some thought. Perhaps like me, you'll feel compelled to run to a yoga class during your lunch hour or simply stare at the sky for ten minutes tonight. Who knows?
Do you think you spend enough time taking care of yourself?
Image via Flickr/BLW Photography