A dear friend recently expressed concern over the fact that I don't do much "for me". The truth is, I often feel selfish for how much I do that is "me" stuff. I think sometimes that I ought to be spending more time doing things with my kids, or cleaning, but instead I can often times be found doing the things that I love.
The thing is, my "me" things aren't the same things other women do for themselves. I don't want to go out for a pedicure or a massage, or go out at night with girlfriends. I don't even really enjoy taking baths all that much.
The things I love are simple, and are often productive, and are usually things my family can get in on too. I truly love knitting - that's pretty obvious, I'd say. Throughout the morning, before the baby wakes up, I alternate 15 minutes of knitting with 15 minutes of housework. By the time Cora's up, I've knitted for an hour and cleaned for an hour - or more, if she's a sleepy head - and I feel good about it. I knit every so often through the day - a row here, a row there, or sometimes several rows if the kids let me. And I truly enjoy every minute of it. And of course there is scrapbooking, interior decorating stuff, and all the other crafts I do. And I recently bought a sketch pad and some colored pencils because I'd really like to take up drawing.
And camping - oh, camping. I bought a book today- The Best in Tent Camping: Colorado. I actually got goose bumps while I was reading through it. I really, really love camping. And so often, camping encompasses several other hobbies: wildflowers, photography, history, cooking, hiking, fishing - even shopping! It wouldn't be any fun without my family there to share it with me, and those are all things I love to do. I'd rather go hike through a forest than sit alone in a coffee shop or have a massage.
I told Andrew today, "A pedicure costs approximately $40 and provides maybe an hour of relaxation. Knitting a sweater costs about the same, and it provides all the relaxation a woman could possibly need for up to a month!"
On Andrew's weeks off, I don't hesitate to make him take over a bit with the kids - or at least help out. And he's more than willing to, thank goodness. A lot of times he's outside hanging out with us while I garden and pull weeds. He kills the bugs when we're camping. He does a ton when he's home, and that relieves a lot of the burden of two weeks without much help.
I know a few people who actually don't have hobbies. Can you imagine? I have new hobbies every day. Some are short lived - I learn and try and do and then I move on. Others are hobbies that stick with me forever, and even if I take a break from them, I always go back eventually. I am a perpetually busy person. It's just who i am, I guess. I've had dozens of people tell me that I make them tired just talking about what I did in one day. I have a lot of energy, I have a ton of interests, I have a brain constantly thinking about the next thing I'll make or create. I like it that way though, I really do.
I guess after all this, what I'm trying to say is that I really do a lot of things for myself. They aren't necessarily the typical things that most women thing of when they think of "me time", but they're the things I most want to do. If on the off-chance I have some time to myself without children around, I mope around the house pitifully because I don't quite know what to do with myself. My list of hobbies is endless, and each of them brings me happiness and joy and usually relaxation, even if it's not the typical kind.