Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Just Breathe

Picture of a free woman

Every woman is familiar with the act of juggling. Juggling your time, energy and money between roles and responsibilities of being a wife, mom, worker, sister, aunty, lover, friend and just being you. We wake up each morning and immediately start to function in one of these roles. In all this hustle, it is important you find time everyday to let out the steam and just breathe.

Let's look at the typical day of a Mom with two kids living in the city, working 8 to 5. The alarm rings at 5:30 in the morning she doesn't have time to snooze. Her mind is alert as she gets up to start her day. She gives her husband a nudge to wake up; he turns on his side and continues his sleep. She walks into her kid’s room and begins to wake them up in a firm but gentle manner.  One by one each child's eyes open and focuses on her. She takes them into the bathroom and prepares them for school. Then she dashes down to the kitchen to make their breakfast. It is 6am now and she has 45mins to pack their lunch box and get ready for work.

The lunch box is packed in less than 10mins, and she goes up to her room. Her husband is up and getting ready too. She dashes into the bathroom for a quick shower and is out in another 7minutes. She decides what outfit to wear in 30 seconds and gets dressed in 5minutes. She’s going for the business casual look this morning. In another 10minutes she's ready to go. She grabs her bag and the children follow suit heading out the door. Her husband comes out a few minutes later: a quick kiss, a wave and the family is off to different destinations- Day care, Pre -School and work. 

At 7:45am she's seated at her office desk sipping her cup of tea. A quick prayer is uttered silently that her day at work would not be dramatic. No annoying clients, no ridiculous demands from her boss, just some peace and quiet to clear her table of all outstanding tasks. Her prayers are answered and her day flies by quietly without a hitch. It's 5pm and time to pick up the kids. She says goodnight to her co-workers and head out the door. On the way to the school she stops at the supermarket to pick up some items. That takes another 30 minutes to complete and she's off again. She arrives at her kids' school and is reminded about the school open day coming up next week. In another 5mins they are on their way, driving slowly in the highway traffic.

It's 7pm and they arrive at home. The kids turn on the TV and begin to watch their favorite show. Although she hates how much time they spend in front of the TV, she has no other choice but to indulge them. It gives her a few minutes of peace and quietness. 3minutes and she's changed into something comfortable. She picks up the kids one by one and prepares them for bed, then head to the kitchen to make dinner. The kids’ stay awake long enough to have dinner after a few minutes they fall asleep on the living room floor. Her husband arrives at 9pm and picks them up to bed. They share a quiet dinner, each talking about their day. At 10:30pm she's changed and ready for bed. Her head hits the pillow, her husband turns off the light for some much needed rest: just enough before the next alarm rings and the circle begins again.

It's so easy to get caught up in your daily chores and strive to accomplish all you set out to do. It's so easy to be engaged in so many activities, actively dispensing all your energy and intelligence that you forget to stop and recharge. Just like batteries we all need to recharge our inner strength from time to time. It could be by taking a vacation or spending some time alone. What I find most effective for me is spending a few minutes everyday in quietness - reading and praying. Trust me, it works! That's where I find strength to forgive whatever may have gone wrong in the cause of my day and where I find inspiration for my creative outlets. It could be a few minutes in the morning or a few minutes at night - whichever I can take I make the most of it. In our troubled world there will always be madness and mayhem, to keep your sanity you need to find time to breathe.

How do you catch your breath? What re-energizes you? 

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

Quiet time alone in the morning. Like now. Morning walks also was my way of breathing but can only happen when kids are on holiday.
Uzo

Anonymous said...

Music does it for me.
I enjoy the freedom music gives. Also, I listen to the radio while in traffic and giggle loudly to relax.
Bolu.

Seye Oke said...

Morning walks are usually fun but I find it hard to get up early enough these days. Music is a winner with me any day too. My most inspiring song for breathing is "It's a beautiful day" by India Arie, great classic.