Monthly Musing – March 2019 – Twenty minutes

It’s not quite 9am and I’m sitting on the bedroom floor in a patch of sunlight knitting a sock. There are probably half a dozen things I could be doing instead – sorting out laundry, walking the dog, re-stringing the washing line (a job I’ve been avoiding for months), vacuuming – but instead, I am feeling the sun warm on my face and the yarn sliding through my fingers as I make each stitch.  This – sitting down and taking a moment – is something that I promised myself that I was going to do more of this year, and so far, I am managing to keep my promise.  It’s not always easy, in the hustle and bustle of the day, to make myself stop and sit down (without or without a cup of tea) but it’s becoming less of a battle with myself the more that I do it.

I don’t manage to do it every day, and I don’t beat myself up about that, just stopping when I remember, or when I feel like it.  There’s no particular time of day that’s better; today it’s a moment in the morning sunshine, another day it might be as the light is fading, or some time in the afternoon before small daughter gets home from school because we’ve got rushing about things to do and I could do with recharging my batteries.  Twenty minutes seems to be my optimum time; any less and my tea is too hot to drink, any more and I start to feel jittery that there are jobs to be done and I’m not doing them.  Sometimes, I spend those twenty minutes with a book, or knitting, or just sitting with my eyes shut, re-connecting with my senses (this is a lovely thing to do if you’ve never tried it before: you go through each of your senses one by one, noticing what you can see, feel, hear, smell and taste before allowing all of your senses to work together again) and occasionally even drifting off for a short “power nap”, waking up feeling refreshed and ready to go again.

I used to feel that it was a waste of time, that I could be doing something more productive and that my day would be ruined if I stopped for even a short while instead of pushing myself to get to the end of the never-ending to-do list.  Now, I realise that twenty minutes is such a short time in the scheme of things – it’s the time spent waiting for a bus, or scrolling through images on your phone, or hanging on the line in a telephone call centre queue – and it’s OK for me to spend that same amount of time doing something that looks after me.  It’s OK to stop and rest, to have a drink (how often do we get to the end of the day and realise we’ve not drunk enough?), to collect my thoughts and to appreciate what I have around me.  And twenty minutes later, when I’m back on my feet and back into the jobs, it’s a nicer version of me that’s doing them, and that can only be a good thing!

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9 Responses

  1. happy hooker says:

    How right you are. If we don't look after ourselves, how can we look after others? It's not selfish or a waste of time, but we all seem to feel guilty if we're not "doing something productive". Daft really, but I guess that's human nature! xx

  2. Helen says:

    Thank you for the reminder! I had a father who could not let us just 'sit' because we should be doing something! The one time I could 'get away with daydreaming' was when I was fishing, because in his eyes I was doing something. lol

  3. My Crafting corner says:

    I love your post today. This is something I am trying to do as well, even though I am retired there just seems so many things that require my time…some are fun things and I do enjoy, but just to spend that bit of time for me. Thanks for putting it so well…

  4. Susan Rayner says:

    A real wake up call to look after ourselves better – so well put as always!

  5. Unknown says:

    Yes indeed. And when, at a less hectic time of life, you look back on these busy days the 20 minute interludes of calm will stand out like little jewels.

  6. The other Lynne says:

    Thank you for a very timely reminder to be kind to oneself. As I settled down with my cuppa to read your musings. I read with cosy feeling I was sitting with a friend giving some good advice.
    As your other reader has said, “ look after yourself, otherwise how can you look after others.” I am the first to feel guilty about not setting thing in order. So thank you all.

  7. Unknown says:

    Timely, perfect, thank you! X

  8. Anita (Coningsby) says:

    Thank you, have just promised myself that I will take the time to read for 'me'. I have stopped and I need to get back to it properly. I have promised myself a chapter a day of a book and hope that I can achieve that.

  9. Heidijo says:

    You are so right, when I had a regular job that I went to as opposed to working from home I had 15mins morning and afternoon and a whole hour at lunch! I now try and sit for a while at lunch time it does make me feel better.

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