For the past two weeks, I feel I am jumping from work, to father, to husband, to others and I have not had time for myself. In the past, I would have put everyone's needs before mine. I would not have hesitated in giving away my time for others, but for the past few years I have been working very hard on breaking that pattern by setting a time to take lunch, make sure that I spend some time everyday just for myself - whether this is to spend some time in the sauna, write or anything that would make me feel like it is "my" time.
My time has been highly reduced with my father's visit since I feel like a mother who has a child. I know I am not a mother but I do believe I would feel this way if I had a kid. I know I get home and since he has been home all day, I want to entertain him and make sure his visit is great. In the past, the gym was the time for myself but this year, he wanted to come to the gym so he is even coming with me to the gym what leaves little to no time for myself. The other day I was showing him how to use the machines without being able to do "my" work out. It was fun to be riding the bike next to him and playing around but at the same time, I could not follow my routine. Once he went to the locker room to go to the sauna I felt I could breath and start my work out. I have a feeling this is the way many women feel who run from work to take care of their kids, their husbands, the house, among other things. For the first time, I could feel how it would be to have a child and how demanding on myself that situation would be.
I remember one time when I was a manager and one employee told me I did not understand her because I did not have kids. Well, now I have a feeling that I would understand better but I also know that it is in us to set up clear and strong boundaries, create time for ourselves, and respect our time as we respect everybody else's. If I had a child, I could use the childcare at the gym so I could take a breather and recharge my batteries. If work was crazy, I still can choose to take a lunch, relax and then come back. If I was in school, I still can schedule time on my planner for myself. Even if that time is not every day but at least once a week. I see many friends who are burning out because they don't have time for themselves and they find themselves struggling, angry, upset, like they are running up and down a big roller coaster. It is important to listen to our emotions and know when we need to take a break, when we need to put ourselves first so we don't deplete, when we need to make sure our boundaries are crystal clear. If we don't do this, nobody else will do. That's why I've been wondering where did my space go in the past few weeks. Now I know, I chose to fill it with other responsibilities but my body is claiming its space and it is time to set clear boundaries and make sure that I respect them before I expect anybody else to respect them.