Guarding Saturday

For many years I, like many of you, stayed busy. All. The. Time. I was a wife and mother with a full-time job who spent my Saturdays volunteering with an animal rescue group and Sundays were reserved for church. Eventually, I reached the point where I realized I just couldn’t keep up that sort of schedule. I was always tired and desperately needed some “me” time. It didn’t help that, as an introvert, I was always surrounded by people – that alone is exhausting. Adding a permanent lack of sleep on top of a drained introvert battery and I was pretty much in zombie mode.

Yes, I felt guilty stepping down from my role with the animal rescue group; these groups struggle to have enough volunteers as it is. But, I had to take care of myself. (And, I feel guilty about pretty much everything so why would this be any different?) What was surprising to me was how fiercely I guarded my Saturdays after that. Saturday became the one day of the week I could sleep in and once I got up, I didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere. Saturday was MINE. That’s not to say I didn’t occasionally have somewhere I had to go on Saturday but if I did you can be sure I had done everything humanly possible to reschedule/get out of it. Sometimes you have to be selfish.

Image courtesy of www.depositphotos.com

Image courtesy of www.depositphotos.com

If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know that my husband and I did the eldercare thing for our remaining three parents for several years. I know that I did the best I could during those years but, I’m human, so I have regrets. One of those regrets is that I didn’t spend my Saturdays taking my mama to the local senior center or other things like that. I’m pretty sure she would have loved it. But, I didn’t. I was still protecting my Saturdays, my precious “me” time. Eldercare is hard. I know I did what I needed to do for myself in order to be able to¬† keep going but… *shrugs*

I retired at the end of April this year meaning that my time is now mine to do with as I will. However, old habits are hard to break and I find myself still fiercely defending my Saturdays. For example, I realized yesterday that I’m scheduled to go to a painting class tonight and immediately found myself trying to think of ways to get out of going. Nope. I paid for this class and I’m going to go. I just have to stop and remind myself that I now have all of the free time in the world – it’s okay to treat Saturdays like any other day. I guess after working for most of my life, it’s going to take more than a couple of months to change my mindset.

What do you do to protect your “me” time?

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