Friday, March 14, 2008

Taking time out

In this blog I’ve mostly written about adding exercise to my life, but that is only one of many small changes I’m making en route to a healthier lifestyle. I’m also taking more time for myself – a toughy when you have a career and a family. A necessity when you have arthritis.

It used to be that when my daughter would go down for her nap, I’d prepare some aspect of dinner, do the dishes, fold the laundry or go back to my desk and work on the next assignment. There was rarely any downtime and I felt guilty when I actually took time for myself. I’ve changed that and it’s probably the best change I’ve made so far.

Now, during her naps, I do something I want to do. Yesterday, I sat around and watched the Food Network. Usually I read a book. Sometimes, when I feel like cooking, I’ll do some dinner prep. If my body needs rest, I cuddle into the overstuffed chair and read or take a short nap.

But by the time my daughter is awake my body feels rested and my soul feels lighter.

Still, there I times I feel a little guilty and I justify why the clothes didn’t get folded or the dishes put away. For so long I’ve identified accomplishment with productivity. But I realize now, I actually accomplish more during the day and I’m a whole lot easier to live with when I have had some time to myself -- when I've taken time just to rest my body and reconnect with my soul. And that payoff means more to my family than a pile of folded laundry.

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