This photo makes me happy. A glass of wine, the newspaper, my notebook and a book about writing. When I get time just for myself, sometimes I just like to enjoy it. There are always things to do, laundry, putting away toys, photos to edit or blog posts to write but occasionally when I get some free time away from the kids the first thing I let myself do is relax. Giving myself that gift often allows me to be more productive when I do get down to business.
Just this week I was talking to Jill at Terra Savvy about doing it all, being productive, finding balance in work/life/motherhood and scheduling our lives to get the most out of it. Now, I might be lazy, but for me I think I get more done when I don't force it, when I let things flow and when I try not to have expectations about what I am doing. In other words, the best way to do it all is to NOT do it all. Having help like a babysitter, housekeeper, shared childcare, laundy service, ordering in dinner is part of not doing it all. Also, doing it all is a myth. Finding balance is really just about making sure that each part of our lives gets some attention over time. Each day in itself is not often perfectly balanced, but over a week or a month hopefully we will have had fulfilled all the roles and goals in our lives that we have chosen to pursue.
Of course it does help to have lists of things to do, and a schedule so that you know when and how much time you have to do things, but within those frameworks, it's ok to let things be a little looser. Sometimes that means that I don't always know WHAT I am doing, but that is part of the process for me. I need space to let things develop, simmer and seed.
For me, my list of things to do is just a long compilation of everything. It's kind of a weekly list and as I feel like doing things or have the time to do things, things get crossed off. I add things as I go along and once more than half the items are crossed off, I will start a new list copying over the things that I didn't do and adding more for the next week or so. Of course, my luxury is that I don't often have set deadlines, and if I had a paying job with clients, I'm sure I would need to be more disciplined.
Letting things be more loose and free is liberating, we can take the time to do the things we really want to do in that moment, we can make adjustments as needed depending on everyone's mood or the weather, and we can leave room to just ENJOY things, rather than always trying so hard to DO things.
So this Friday, this weekend, take some time for yourself to just BE. Grab a book, the paper and a glass of something delicious and RELAX.