Picture the scene…
You’ve just collapsed onto the sofa with a drink and your favourite book/magazine/TV programme. The relaxing sigh is barely out of your mouth before you hear it….the summons.
Somebody, somewhere wants a piece of you. And they want it NOW. If they’re not demanding food, they need something finding. Or cleaning. Or they need your diplomatic services to solve a dispute. Whatever it is they need, you know there will be no peace until they have it.
And they time it to perfection every time. They have a radar. Or sensors in the sofa. They know what you’re up to. Let you relax? It’s against their principles!
So you go. You tackle one round of demands, then like a decapitated monster, another one pops up in it’s place. And all you can think of is your drink getting cold (if it’s tea) or warm (if it’s wine). You try to remind yourself, through gritted teeth, that to be needed is a blessing not a curse…
Let’s face it, you’re in demand. But your time-out is important. So how do you keep the clamouring hordes happy and make sure you still get a break?
The trick is to beat them at their own game. Meet their needs, first. Head them off at the pass. Anticipate any potential flare-ups and take steps to prevent them.
Sort them out, all of them. Be at their service (you’re going to have to do it anyway…). And, then, when they are all happily sated and placated, it’s your turn!
Pursuing your little pockets of pleasure in this way is not only more likely to be successful, it’s actually more enjoyable. There is something utterly delicious about sitting down for a well-earned and totally justified break.
You can truly relax, basking in the warm feeling that you are an attentive and giving wife/mother/daughter/etc… but now it’s time for you. You deserve it.
Gone is the frustration of trying, and failing, to squeeze in your thing. Gone are the clamouring voices – especially those inside your head telling what you really should be doing instead.
There’ll be less resentment all round. The Others can’t complain that you are neglecting them, and you won’t begrudge their needs cramping your me-time. It’s a win-win!
And since you’re (temporarily) suppressing your own needs in the service of others – you get some spiritual brownie points, too!. (No-one needs to know your secret, self-seeking ulterior motive…)
So, the next time you need a break – be a strategist. Plan your self-indulgence with military precision, allowing for any and all potential hiccups.
The harmonious way to self-indulgence: Family first then feet-up!
As always, I’d love to hear what you think!
Photo credit: Marcelo Gerpe at SXC