It’s 11 on a Sunday evening, and I write this from my kitchen bench.
I am on my second glass of red, streaming nu-jazz from Youtube (yes, it is spelt ‘nu’!) and delighting in some homemade chai cupcakes, fresh out of the oven, because I bake at midnight—it’s a me thing.
Aside from cupcakery and jazz infused wine-sippery, for the last several hours I have been deeply ensconsed filing away a huge box of childhood schoolwork and mementos. As I wallow luxuriantly in nostalgia and the indulgence of my OCD organisational habit, my cat is playfully rolling on the rug, begging for (yet another) opulent belly rub. I am in personal heaven.
Yet I haven’t felt this way in quite some time. In fact, this last week has been a blur of overcommitments, unplanned houseguests, a seemingly never-ending array of everyone elses’ dishes to be washed—oh yes, and a business to run, how could I forget?
I have attended to a stream of everyone elses’ needs, wants, desires and timelines, and somehow boxed myself out in the process. In all of it I found myself impossibly irritated, out-of-sorts, disconnected and frankly pissed off at everything and everyone.
I needed desperately to come back home—to me.
Cue apron, wine glass and my portable sound dock, and I’m back. In the space of a few short and blissfully solo hours, I feel like myself again.
My partner (who has been equally engrossed in his downstairs movie man-cave) surfaces to encourage me to come outside, telling me that tonight is a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event—in fact, abundant clusters of shooting stars will soon be careening through the sky between 11pm and 1am. But not even fireworks from the heavens can tempt me to break my personal groove this evening.
I am most definitely one of those kinds of people that needs to recharge with alone time.
And (perhaps somewhat ironically) I know I am not alone in this. Most of us at some point or another just want to shut the door and do our idiosyncratic little thang. And I say: we should give ourselves permission to do it more often. Me-time is precious. And it’s flavours are as unique as the individual.
Truly, I feel that despite it’s alcoholic and sugar-laden content, this night has done more good for my soul than any detox program might. It’s been a home-coming of sorts, a return to fully-felt simplicity, a humble re-awakening to self. Yes, I think this is what Thomas Moore was talking about when he penned his brilliant book ‘Care of the Soul.’ We need to care for ourselves—and sometimes this means doing things that other people don’t quite get, at times and in quantities that don’t quite make sense.
So I propose a toast: to Me-Time, may your benevolent goodness grace all those who are harried, hassled, frazzled, exasperated and over-cogitated—may the long candlelit bath, the personal doona-cocoon and the eating of dinner sans cutlery reign free. In an age of deadlines and data-overload, may we never forget to schedule in a date with ourselves. The future of our sanity may very well depend on it.
Oh Me-Time, how I love thee.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Odette Gibbs
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Dennis Wong at Flickr