Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Twenty Minute Challenge

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Yesterday, I met D~ at the pool for a swim and she asked me what, if anything, I'm doing for myself. She didn't want to hear about cancer-related activities, not blogging, not treatment, nor feeding myself, exercising, sleeping, or chores. She didn't mean time spent procrastinating either, surfing Youtube and Twitter and Netflix. She meant time cordoned off for activities my heart desired. For example, she told me about a stack of books she could never find time to read. I knew what she meant. My stack is a list of creative self-directed projects in my studio/office that I never find time to explore.

So D~ challenged me to dedicate twenty minutes that very day to me-time. I embraced the challenge, and I challenged her back.

She made a face.

It think it's accurate to call that face a grimace.

I will humbly admit right now that I have never (yet) spent time with D~ outside of the pool, but I felt certain that I had her pegged. Between her business, her marriage, her dog, and her need to move (She's a triathlete. A two-time Ironman triathlete at that) I thought, No way, those books will not be touched today. I also thought, I will easily dive into my twenty minutes of me-time and it will be a great long-awaited pleasure.

Can you see where I'm going here?

D~ emailed me two hours later reporting that she'd spent not twenty but twenty-five luxurious minutes reading. You? she demanded.

Damned competitive athletes with their steely self-discipline. I was trying to finish my taxes.

Millie is my role model.

And what did I do next? I cooked, ate, paid bills. I walked the dog, returned phone calls, and, with the help of a friend, planted peas and greens in the garden. Does that count? Maybe I could convince D~, but deep down I knew, as much as I enjoyed gardening and as good as it felt to get it done, it wasn't me-time. And then came dinner, dishes, blogging, more work on the tax return...

Long story short, I failed.

The first step toward change is admitting you have a problem.

Today I had a doctor's appointment and errands and still some chores ahead of me as the day winds down. Tomorrow is chemo, a busy day which will end in a Benadryl-induced fog. Saturday I'll be amped on steroids. Sunday I'll begin to crash.

But I'm not giving up. If I don't succeed to find a me-time window on Sunday, then Monday for sure.

Mark. My. Words.

4 comments:

flyingyogini said...

I'm in. I just did it.. in fact am at the end of it. I write my blog daily. That's my 20 min. Sometimes it's all I get.

So grateful you are finding time to do wonderful things just for you. Now if we could just find a time to do it together ;-)

Kerry said...

Nice blog...this is my 'me time'...everyone sleeping and me checking in on you...and others...so get out your paint/markers/scissors/glue stick/whathaveyou...! And I am very impressed, and more than jealous, that you have peas/greens in the ground! Grrrr!(& Peace~)

Shafeenaaz said...

Errr...could it be your me-time is everything but that one thing the competitor beat you at?

All you write about seems to me your me-time.

My me-time is reading blogs and writing some lines :)

Shafeenaaz said...

BTW, that pic of Millie is something to be jealous of!!!

What careless abandon in sleep!!! Role model she is for sure!