Whether you’re dealing with the rat race of a commute into work or you’re stuck at home with a screaming toddler who’s having a melt-down about the wrong type of cheese in a sandwich, life can seem like a constant re-run with a dire outlook if there’s no break from the routine.
It could just be the endless winter days, but just lately I feel like I’ve been living a constant re-run of Groundhog Day. By day I’m doing my best to occupy my two toddlers and stop them from fighting over the most ridiculous things (like who should get out of the bath first), whilst trying my best to fit in work, cooking and the general mundane chores during nap time and the evenings.
Then last week there was a sudden break in the pattern. Three things broke up my drudgery!
- I was invited out to dinner on a Monday no less by some other mums I know. It was only a cheap and cheerful dinner, but it was good to get out of the house without kids and talk to some other adults.
- My husband has recently re-joined a gym. And for a trial period, I have been granted a 3 month pass to use the facilities. I’m not really a gym person, but there is a fantastic swimming pool. So on Thursday I took myself off for an evening swim. It was virtually empty, the lighting was low and for half an hour, I completely lost myself swimming my way up and down that pool. It was heaven not only to be finally doing some form of exercise again, but to be on my own, lost in my own thoughts.
- At the weekend we visited the in-laws. My sister-in-law insisted on taking me to the local pub for some pre-dinner drinks leaving the men and grandparents to deal with the troublesome bath and bedtime. It felt naughty to be sneaking out the front door at 6pm to go the pub but why not?! We had a much needed catch up which we never seem to do when running around trying to sort out the kids.
So 3 things in the space of one week broke up my pattern of drudgery. Plus, it’s the end of February and I can see a glimpse of spring on the horizon. Things are looking up.
Crush the Routine
The point is everyone needs a break from the norm of some sort. Whether it’s going for a long walk, getting your hair cut or going out for lunch, everyone needs time for themselves to re-charge and re-focus.
I can remember one of my old bosses at work telling us that it was important to break the routine in order to keep the brain ticking over. He used to take a different route into work several times a week. I can see his point. With no break from the drudgery, life can threaten to become all-consuming and you can even begin to resent it.
I don’t know if my gym pass will last longer than 3 moths, but whilst I have it, I intend to swim at least one evening a week in that lovely pool and make sure I get some more time to myself.
What about you? Do you think it’s important to make time for yourself? How do you do it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.