Hoi Yee: Time for me? I have no time “for me.”
The immediate urgencies of a difficult client, a client who has not paid, my son’s homework, the housework that needs to be done, following up with a supplier who did not meet a deadline . . . these are what fill my day, every day. I tackle each with zest, no matter how important or irritating, because I really do enjoy the mini-bursts of accomplishment throughout the day, when I cross out something from the list on my little pad of paper. (Indeed, I still use a little pad made from recycled paper.)
If I have a moment, I prefer to catch up on work that is not an emergency. I always want to make time to put together staff evaluations, prepare powerpoint slides for our son’s Chinese language learning, create summary tables of costs for our business, and maybe finally read those two books on how to motivate a sales team and better book-keeping.
In the tangle of daily immediate to-do’s and, on a good day one or two non-urgent tasks, I love it when I sneak time to bake flax seed cookies for the family.
So I don’t have “time for me” because “me” no longer includes a glass of white wine on the sofa after a yoga class. “Me” is growing my business, spending time with our son, and writing our book. In fact, I spend the whole day on “me”. My sense of achievement is measured by the crossed out items on those little pieces of recycled paper, and I’m happy and proud of my daily successes.
Julia: Time for me? I’m kidding myself, aren’t I? There’s no such thing!
As a working mum, of course, I knew I’d have a busy life, but in my student days I naively thought there might be the odd moment for quiet reflection, a leisurely bath, a stroll through the countryside, the occasional hike! The reality is very different!
There are staff issues, money issues, client issues, deadlines, mistakes and celebrations. There’s all the extraneous stuff, too:
- Who’s getting the parrot’s food?
- Has the dry-cleaner finished my husband’s suit?
- Why has the photocopier fuse blown again?
- Can I find a couple more hours to finish that chapter?
- Where are my reading glasses?
Suddenly it’s Sunday – that renowned day of rest. Another misconception! It’s the day to catch up with the backlog. So, let’s . . .
- do a supermarket run for the whole week – oh, and who’s going to write the list?
- go through that tax form (isn’t it time I got a rebate?)
- call the Wongs to say we’d love to go to dinner next week (oh no, was the invitation for last week?)
- Hey –what’s the puppy doing on the swing – get him off!
It’s Monday again! And, no I did not have a leisurely bath, or a stroll in the countryside. But, here’s the GOOD news:
- I did enjoy a big hug when I looked tired
- a snuggle from a puppy who was trying to say, “sorry”
- an email from our youngest daughter saying, “I can’t wait to come home for Christmas”
- our parrot whispering loudly to me “Come on, darling”
- and a lovely text message from a client, “Thx 4 the love + 4 the care u’ve shown our son”
Perhaps I don’t need “time for me” after all.