Last night my husband and I were having a conversation about why women, especially moms, have a harder time pursuing personal projects. The discussion was in the context of the culmination of the “Road to Majors” project that I have been working on for the past five years. I realized that it is not as common for moms to pursue something not for anyone else but for themselves. There always is that guilt over how the time and energy spent to take on such endeavors is time that would be better used to take care of the family. It is easy to lose one’s self in the course of daily work and home routines, amidst the everyday chores that we just have to get out of the way.
As a mom, we are pulled in different directions, everyone wanting to have a piece of our time. There is nothing like the joy of taking care of the family. I realized though that for this joy to be in perpetual abundance, we have to give ourselves the constant permission to find pockets of time that are dedicated entirely for ourselves. It may be literally a quiet time in solitude. It could be time to just have a nice cup of tea to just slow down and to let thoughts just freely swarm in our perpetually occupied minds. It could be pursuing a craft or an interest. Or working on a personal cause.
In my case, I chose running and training for marathons. I realized the world will not stop and my kids will be okay even if I spend an hour of each day training. Doing so has actually allowed me to be a happier spouse and parent. I also feel that I give myself more to my work because I try to apply the same intensity and rigor from running into business. Training also opened up the possibility that everything is a skill that may be learned and that even as I fumble as a newbie in business, the skills I need to get better may be achieved with practice. This is another clear manifestation of one of the key principles I believe in – that how we do one thing is really how we do everything.
It is important that we never cease to give ourselves the permission to take care of the self. It is in doing so that we become more of who we are, individuals who strive to find ourselves in the lives that we lead daily. It comforts me knowing that we can find happiness when we choose to find time to get to know ourselves in the things we spend our precious time on.