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Me-Time Is All in My Head

There is this phrase floating around–me-time. Hasn’t it floated your way? Haven’t you said, “I need some me-time?” or some variation on that at some point or another since you reached adulthood? Well, I tell you who doesn’t say it–children and men. Okay, maybe men do say it. To be honest, my experience with men is limited, but I can’t imagine my dad ever walking into the house announcing he was going out to get some me-time. In eleven years of marriage and I’m certain my husband has never said it either. Of course, I’m rather of the opinion that since all the world’s clocks are set to man-time, they hardly need say it. This may be unfair, but I’m too busy using my me-time to think about it.

I suspect that me-time may also be somewhat cultural or class specific. Does a brothel worker in India think about getting some me-time in between customers? Maybe. Maybe not. Does a Darfur refugee wish for me-time? How many women of the world have actually even heard of it?

Well, I’ve heard of it and I’m greedy and I want more of it. Who wouldn’t want me-time instead dish-washing-time? Unless of course you like washing dishes. Grading papers is not me-time, laundry is not me-time, and paying bills is definitely not me-time. What me-time truly is may be up for debate, but as far as I’m concerned, these things are not it.

What do I do with my me-time? Write. Sometimes I make art, but mostly I write. My me-time is spent creating characters and imagining the horrible things I can do to them. Perfectly normal, right? Of course it is.

Okay, so now I’ve muddied my thinking. I’m writing and I want to be published. I want it to be my job. I want to make a living at it. Now, leaving aside how next-to-impossible that dream is (pipe dreams going cheap!), if I do something as a job and I get paid for it, then is doing it qualify as me-time? Is my work and my free-time the same thing? If my writing is my me-time–well, who really takes things done in me-time seriously? You see, I think men don’t use the term because it sounds silly to them. Frivolous. A girl thing. Yes, I could be WAY off base (I’ve been known to be standing far afield before, not even able to find the base), but I can’t help but suspect that if writing is a hobby, if it is a me-time thing, then it isn’t a real job and, therefore, doesn’t need to be treated as such.

So, will a paycheck suddenly make it work? Or if my writing is work, does that mean I actually don’t have any me-time? I would assume that me-time is, well, to state the obvious, time for, you know, me. That said, if you gave me a large box of me-time, and the instructions on the box said, “Not to be used for housework, parenting, family/friend obligations, earning-a-living, grading papers, or writing. Failure to follow stated guidelines will result in immediate termination of me-time and the box will self-destruct” what would I do?

I’ll tell you what I would do–I’d sit there like a fool and think about writing. I can only conclude that me-time is just time spent in my head without interruption. This could mean I’m mentally off the playing field or that I’m a writer. What clues should I be looking for to answer this?

We may never know, but all the same, I’d like to know what you would do if a box of me-time arrived on your doorstep (with big letters stamped on the side–FRAGILE. HANDLE WITH CARE. I hate it when me-time arrives all broken up.)

This me-time inspired by momablogga and Letters to My Daughters. You could let them inspire you…if you have time.

12 thoughts on “Me-Time Is All in My Head

  1. Men don’t think about me-time. They are simple creatures. If they want to do something, they do it. Women will first do the dishes, make sure the kids are fed and have more food prepared for them in the fridge, laundry is folded and put away, floors are swept, and then when they are ready for their me-time, the ean announces they are going golfing and walk out the door. I think we could learn a thing or two from those guys.

    Many women make the time spent doing dishes, cooking, laundry into me-time. Not saying that is the best thing to do, but I think it’s what many do do…in order to keep their thoughts from escaping and fom losing themselves. (While I don’t like doing the dishes, and I do them by hand, I do get some good ideas there…just like Agatha Christie said she did).

    As for losing me-time if you are a professional writer, I think it depends on who is calling the shots. If you have deadlines and content parameters (did I really use that word?), then the me-ness of the work does fade. But that’s the price we pay, I suppose to continue this craft. And there is the whole self-promotion that goes along with this work. You have the tenacity and drive to be a published writer. Many writers don’t want to spend any time at that part of the job.

    All I know is that I write because that time is the best time for me. I love my writing time. Writing is a duel between time speeding by when I’m writing and also time slowing down as I try to capture it on paper.

    My comments have become longer than blog posts. You are my second blog.

  2. I think it’s still me-time as long as you’re spending it on whatever you want to do. If you’re thinking of writing while you’re doing the dishes, cleaning up after the kid, paying bills and grading papers, then writing is what you want to be doing.

    As for the rest of it: hell yeah.

  3. Notwithstanding the ultimate truth that all time is me and me is all the time, the last time such a box arrived I was home alone for 4 consecutive days and I came out of it shaking my head and saying, “I have no sympathy for loneliness.”

    But when the house isn’t empty, all my me-time is at the Westin hotel with room service, a Do Not Disturb sign, a laptop and just me. Just a day or two will do.

  4. I LOVE THIS! I also like SBW’s response. I can’t think of anything to add to it, but I will answer your question. If the box arrived, I would want to write, but I also might like to drive over to the Botanical Garden and walk on the trails by myself. I haven’t done that in years!! Though now that I’m older I’m too damn cautious to walk in those woods by myself.

  5. Truth be told, I rediscovered The Art of Me time this weekend and it didn’t so much involve anything but the conscious effort of enjoying life without a bunch of stress, noise and crying. Eating with two hands and not worrying about how everyone’s food is getting into their mouths … etc.

  6. And that’s exactly what I want more ‘me time’ for—writing. You do raise an interesting dilemma, but until I AM getting checks, I’m not going to worry about whether it’s work time or me time.

    In my opinion, anything that helps you to feel recharged, happy and more or less ready to take the next onslaught of life’s challenges counts as “me time.” If someone pays you to do it—even better!

  7. It’s a fine line, isn’t it, when our passion and work collide. We can get reenergized by our work and call it “me time” or we can get exhausted by it.

    Good points in your post. I’m still waiting for my “Me Time” package to arrive. I hope it comes in a HUGE crate. šŸ™‚

    Great post- found you through Mama Blogga’s GWP.

    Regards, Michelle aka The Beartwinsmom
    http://beartwinsmom.wordpress.com

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