When You Can't Even Get a Moment's Peace on Your Own
The Blinding Obvious Secret to Creating Me Time!

The Blinding Obvious Secret to Creating Me Time!

As a grown woman I still have the amazing ability to want to talk to my mum when she's in the bathroom. I did this constantly as a child, I would be yammering away, talking my head off to her and she would go to the bathroom to get away from me. All the while I would be standing outside the door, talking on and on and I'd hear this plaintive cry from my mother saying "Can't I even go to the bathroom in peace?" and I'd be stunned.

Somehow even now, with 250 kilometers between us I still manage to call her when she's on the loo!

Now we laugh about it but I wonder how she didn't just shut me outside and tell me not to come home until dark! Oh, hang on, was that why I got the push bike and all that freedom?

For a grown woman with a family, partner, home, work and life to be living (or is that running?) the pressures are still the same - how to find a minute (or hopefully at least 30 minutes) in a day to herself?

We're told we must be calm, we must have inner peace, we must be this and be that but in reality finding the time to achieve any of these things can and is a real challenge.

If you're lucky you can have someone who comes and does the cleaning every week or two. But how does that come about? How does the realisation that it's OK to delegate things to others happen?

For me I had a big light bulb moment at the super market recently when the checkout bloke was double handling all my groceries and making a real miss-mash of packing the one bag. He wanted to use a second bag because he hadn't done the blindingly obvious - packed the big things first and let the little things fill in around them.

And there went off the light bulb - pack the big things in first and let the little things fit around them - a life philosophy!

It's been all part of that prioritising lessons that you hear but it came down to a dead simple, visual concept watching the shopping bag being packed back to front. Of course there was difficulties fitting the big things in after the little things had gone in first. The bag was amply big enough for the $38.45 of groceries that were there, if only it was packed properly.

So is life, life is big enough when you know what are the big things and what are the little things.

The trick is figuring out which is which - what's important in your life? What's happening that really matters to you? What's happening in the kids lives that's really important and needs going in first? Then what's the next things down - the middle size? What about the little things?

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For me ironing is a little thing on a daily basis. Only occasionally does an event come along that a perfectly ironed piece of clothing matter. So once I understood that I really don't want to be ironing and I could minimise it by how I laundered (get the washing out of the machine quickly, neatly hang them out and fold then straight off the line) I saved time and effort all over the place.

It's the thinking things through, talking about them within the household that makes the difference and lets you see what goes in the bag first - what are the big things and what are the little things.

Little things don't always have to fit in. Sometimes they have greater importance and that's when they turn into middle sized things. Just like biscuits from the shops are little things that are sometimes middle sized things - they aren't always important to have but occasionally they are handy to have in the house.

For many of us the big things in life are our relationships and keeping them healthy and vibrant. Otherwise they fall apart.

Our homes are up there on the top of the list as well as providing an income for the household.

Community involvement is often given a high level of priority.

But what about the latest gadget? The status phone or game? The latest dress or outfit? How important are these material things? The answer will be different for each of us.

What about time to day dream? For people who create things this time is crucial. Without it inspiration struggles to get through the noise of daily life. Me time is important for all of us, whatever we do.

For each of us the size of things will be different but the concept is the same.

For my mum time to read a book during her holidays was really important. She's retired now and reads copious loads of books but I think when I was a child I didn't let her read as many as she would have liked. Now it's me who's out on mum's back deck during the holidays with my nose in a book saying "just go away, I'm reading" and the child huffs off to his grandmother. Arh, the circle of life.

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