Modern day life is littered with responsibility. We juggle work, family life, maintaining a perfect home, keeping up with endless errands (I still need to take my car to be cleaned!!) all whilst trying to salvage some sort of social life. We have so much going on with many of us working long hours. If you have children, then any sort of spare time that you have is eaten up with homework, bath time and organising their little lives. Even if you don’t have children, family is still important and making time to fit in visits and general helping out are all in all quite time consuming. Don’t even get me started on keeping up with things at home. After all of the cleaning (which appears to dominate my daily existence!), there’s gardening and keeping up with paperwork all whilst simultaneously trying to keep everything organised and clutter free so that you don’t become a reality star on Hoarders next door. The second that you leave the warm and comforting nest of your family home, you are thrusted with bills, cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing. My husband and I are three years in and are completely used to juggling such tasks (who am I kidding with ‘we’ – I think I’ve seen him iron twice!), but some of our friends are new to the game and it’s reminded me of how much of a culture shock being a real life independent adult is. Your underwear really isn’t going to wash itself. Nor will a plate of food just appear in front of you at supper time. Oh no. These are all things that need to be done by yours truly. When I lived at home, my evenings really felt like mine. I used to swan off out for dinner with friends or wallow on the couch watching movies. No housework/general chores. It was all about me. Flash forward a couple of years and my evenings are mostly keeping the home tidy, cooking dinner (which can take quite a while depending on the dish!), cleaning up from dinner, preparing for the next day and trying to salvage some me time (this normally happens around 21:30 and results in me falling asleep on the couch whilst trying to catch up on Game of Thrones). Yes, being an independent adult sure does keep me busy!
I think that we also put a lot of pressure on ourselves, which is ridiculous as the pressure is piled on enough already from other aspects of life. As young women (and probably men too), we have aspirations and targets to meet deadlines that we have set ourselves. To be married and own a home by the age of thirty, to have a small figure and be fashion savvy, to have a kickass career… The list is endless. These days we are so heavily influenced by various forms of media that it’s so easy to get swept up in what we should be doing and what stage we should be at in our lives. It’s great in some ways as it helps us set our dreams and provides a focus, but it also is a lot of pressure. Many women haven’t met Mr Right by the age of thirty. Even if you have met ‘The One’, marriage might not be something that you really want. We need to think more about ourselves and what is right for us. If you want to reach the peak of your career, by all means go for it, but make sure you don’t kill your soul with it. Take time out to just enjoy being you. You might own your own home by the age of thirty-two, but if you don’t, that’s okay too. You can still have your dreams and ambitions, but just go easy on yourself. Life is mad enough as it is!
I try to take time out regularly to just be me. Think about what I like to do (writing, reading, singing, slobbing out on the couch whilst stuffing copious amounts of junk food) and just embrace it. Try not to worry about all of the crazy goings on and expectations that are both placed on us by others and ourselves. I try to sit down and be ‘me’ once a day. Even if I just manage to read a few pages of the book I’m reading, I find it makes me a better person. When I’m encapsulated with the storyline I’m not worrying about anything else, I’m just having pure, organic, selfish me time and it feels great.
Last Sunday my hubby was off to an event at Wembley (having some ‘me time’ of his own!) with his friend who happens to be my friends boyfriend. My wonderful friend suggested that we had a spa day whilst the boys were busying themselves with computer game goodness. Naturally I jumped at the chance as I am a huge fan of spa days. Lounging around, hopping between the sauna, jacuzzi and steam room before being pampered for an hour or two. Pure bliss. We had a great time catching up properly and stuffing our faces. We had a full body massage and a facial. It was most divine and the perfect way to spend a Sunday. Whilst I was wrapped up in spa heaven having all sorts of lotions and potions applied to my face, nothing else mattered. It’s these pockets of self indulgence that help keep me sane. I came home stress free and ready life. Of course it doesn’t have to be an elaborate spa day that can allow you to refocus and chill out. Go for a walk, watch a movie, read a book. Have a think about what you enjoy and embrace it. You are a person too and you deserve it! Leave the wash load until the morning, contrary to popular belief it won’t grow legs and take over your home. Put yourself first and take some time out. You never know, not worrying about things and just enjoying the here and now might be the dream you’ve been searching for.