What Really Refreshes?

I have noticed that now that I work I have a lot less “me” time. Which is funny because I am away from my kids all day long pursuing a career which the womens movement has been saying for years is something I can do for “me”. So now I finally am doing something for me and I no longer have any time for me. I believe this is the definition of irony.

I love to take time for myself but working all day and playing catch up with my family and home in the evenings doesn’t really give me many opportunities. Or so I thought…I started examining how I spend my time and what I really needed to accomplish in each task and realized I am doing a few things that don’t accomplish the purpose they were intended.

What I want from my “me time” is to be refreshed. I give at work, I give to my children and my husband and my friends and my church. I love to do those things but I get overwhelmed when that is all I am doing. I need to be refreshed.

What I noticed as I started examining my schedule is that some of the things I do to refresh myself aren’t actually refreshing. I will occasionally give myself permission to spend the evening watching tv. Usually because I am exhausted and overwhelmed and just want to hide from it all for an evening. However, I have never felt better after an evening of TV and still desperately long for some time for myself. I tried to define my commute time as “me time” but discovered that driving through traffic immediately after a long day is not relaxing and calling a friend to tell them about my long day is also not refreshing. Helpful occasionally, but not refreshing.

So what does refresh me? Do I need an entire day at a spa or a weekend getaway? I have started thinking about what really refreshes, energizes and inspires me.

A walk around the block.
A vigorous work out.
Reading a good book.
Laughing with a friend.
Sipping tea.
Sitting and listening to the water lap the shore at the beach.
Swinging in a hamock on a warm summer day.
My time with God.
Time to just sit and dream.

And it turns out that many of the things on my list don’t require an entire weekend or even an entire evening but even just an hour can refresh my spirit and have me ready to take on the rest of my life.

I am just getting started with my list. What refreshes you?