I knew she hadn’t been feeling well. I wondered what counsel she’d been given. She was told she needed more “Me Time.” I didn’t really respond but just listened. She’d been told to do more things she wanted to do and that by doing what she wanted to do, she would feel better.
I will be the first to admit, everyone needs some peace. Everyone needs some quiet. I recently gave the following advice to my 20 year old daughter: “If every minute of your every day is always and continually filled with music and podcasts, and talking and noise, when in the world is there ever any time to just pause and reflect and think?”
But I believe there’s a huge difference between quiet and “Me Time.” I would guess most of us might chuckle about the thought of “Me Time.” And I firmly believe just like everything in life, there are seasons. When I was a stay-at-home mom with the two year old and infant, “Me Time” was a pipe dream. My idea of daily “Me Time” was a shower. Naturally, as the kids grew, there was a bit more “Me Time” until there wasn’t. When you start serving as your child’s taxi driver in middle school (when they start all of their after-school activities) your idea of “Me Time” might be simply getting to hear your favorite song on the radio without any interruptions.
After our wreck and my daughter’s paralysis, I quit my job because there were some things I needed to take care of for her and my availability was paramount to her success. But once she went to college a funny thing happened. I had p-l-e-n-t-y of “Me Time.” And I quickly learned having plenty of “Me Time” wasn’t good for others and it especially wasn’t good for me. You see, when I had plenty of “Me Time,” I mainly thought about, well . . . me! My time was spent making sure everything that happened was going to benefit . . . me! I viewed every situation through what I thought was best for . . . me!
There are a million things I love about teaching young people and one of them is how exciting and jam-packed each day is at school. Oh I have lesson plans, but I yet to have a lesson go exactly as planned! As most elementary teachers will tell you, there’s no time to go to the bathroom, let alone, focus on yourself. I love that between 6:30 a.m.and 5:00 p.m. I really don’t have time to focus on me. Oh sure, I try to keep forcing “me” to the top but somehow those students just always take precedence and keep my life in perspective.
So maybe the counsel given to the woman was right. Maybe it was wrong. Speaking from personal experience on my end, “Me Time” wasn’t working for me, but time spent on others (especially, awesome 10 and 11 year olds) gave me a whole new lease on life. And maybe you feel the same way too, Dear Reader, about your time spent on others, whatever that looks like for you.
Until the next Wednesday, the Lord allows.