I would like to open this blog by introducing the amazing Melody Stevens. While she won’t say it, I will bet she has literally invested sweat, blood and tears into creating what is now the most prestigious pre-school for the arts and academics in NYC. I am so proud of Melody and happened to speak with her last week while she was taking a rare day to herself. Knowing how hard this was for her to do, I begged her to write a blog for our Get Your Girl Back readers because for most of us the guilt over taking time for ourselves is paralyzing. Not only did Melody take a day for herself, she has embarked on a new way of living, where she is prioritizing, lightening her work load, delegating, and simply letting go. It’s so powerful to see and such an important lesson for all of us. So on with Melody’s blog post…
Free Time? Wow!
In the past few days, I’ve found myself with extra time. Some from cancelled appointments due to snow, but mostly because I’ve successfully built two brick and mortar businesses, one in NJ and one in NY that have come to run day to day without me. My brand new NY business took about three months in operation before I could leave the premises full time. I generally go into NY about once or twice a week now, but I’m fairly useless if I hang out there for more than a few hours, so this is really recent. Thank you to my dream teams in both states.
Another reason I have extra time is because I just hired a brand new nanny for my daughter who is a nutrition major and she is fun, upbeat, and my daughter loves her. For the past few days I’ve been coming home to delicious and healthy home cooked meals, a clean home, and a happy daughter who has all her homework and music practicing done.
And so, what’s a woman to do when she has found herself with a few days of not working full time and not caring for her family full time? Struggle with guilt, of course!
So, what IS there to do besides work and family? This question plagued me in my late teens and twenties, and now, in my forties, it still does.
- Really? I have three hours a day to work out in the gym like a movie star?
- I can go to a day spa and hang out in a whirlpool?
- I can read and write and work on my recovery from compulsive eating? Seriously?
- I can spend hours a day doing things to “get my girl back?” (Thank you Traci Bild for the “Get Your Girl Back” movement. www.gygb.com)!
Guilt, Guilt, Guilt!
But, but, but, what does that make me? Lazy? Self-centered? Selfish? How dare I spend this time right now in Starbucks- after enjoying a latte- writing to you while my husband is working his 9-5 corporate job and a nanny is picking up my daughter in an hour?
I’m about to attend a yoga class. This morning I attended a support group meeting for food addiction. Earlier this afternoon I tuned into a Geneen Roth course…..
Maybe a little later I can take some time and just do nothing. No TV, no video games….nothing. Sounds pretty heavenly actually. I think I will have to go to the library or something in order to do to nothing. :-).
I’m sure there’s plenty more I could be doing besides working and taking care of my family…how about just hanging out with friends? Ha-ha that’s making me a little giddy; although I think my friends might feel guilty taking time away from work and family just to hang out. Oy.
Why do I feel the need to tell you that I DID check my emails and I DID check in on my business today? Because I imagine some business guru out on the stratospheres somewhere or a shark from the show “Shark Tank” will shame me for taking the WHOLE day off. So, I’m telling you now, I DID check in. Which is strange because many of the most successful business people that I most respect actually advocate at least one day a week totally “unplugged!”
Okay, so at least intellectually I realize that the hours and/or days I spend working on and investing in myself, and doing things that just plain feel good are some of the most important times I spend. I do realize that it’s always a wise investment.
A New Way of Living
And, I know that precisely because I’ve had some “me” time in the past couple of days, I have had more patience, compassion, presence of mind, and love for the two most important people in my life, my husband and my daughter. For two nights now I’ve been what I consider a very caring and loving wife and mother.
Most days, I’ve not had this level of patience or presence for them. So right now I am-
- And, working on releasing the guilt once and for all.
Written by Guest Blogger Melody Stevens, Author of Time Millionaire and founder of Mozart’s & Einstein’s Pre-School for arts & academics. You can learn more about Melody at http://melodystevens.net/
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