Sitting still for an hour – just one!

Here’s a test for you. Not the girls’ magazine ones telling you if you’re a dreamer or a doer. A real hands-on one, or actually more of a bum-on one. Sit still for an hour at home. Yep 60 full minutes. Your brain will start a to-do-list within seconds (should do the washing, have to call Sue), just ignore. Then your body will feel itchy, you see a sock under the couch with months’ worth of dust attached that you NEED to get up and get. Don’t. Then your bad conscience is back: I can’t just sit here. Yes, you can – just tell it, right back: yes I can! OK, you managed 2 minutes and 10 seconds. Well done! Celebrate your successes! Now is the time to grab what you like doing: a book, a writing pad (NOT for to-do-lists, only allowed if you will actually write stuff on it: a diary, 10 things you’re grateful for, a poem that doesn’t rhyme, draw doodles), your knitting or anything remotely recreational. Now comes the real test: your children/husband/mum/neighbour walking in. Keep seated. Look even more concentrated at your doodles. Pretend you haven’t seen them (oooh, how can that feel SO … More Sitting still for an hour – just one! »

How to find 6 hours a week – for YOU

What’s YOUR passion? What makes you smile and feel good? How can you carve out 6 hours of that, just for you? You never GET time, you have to TAKE time to the things you love. Eat more carrots. Do more exercise. Here is my advice to you: stop reading gossip and women’s magazines. Just trust your own instincts and common sense. Da-daaaa – I just gave you back 1 hr a week. Stop ironing. I’m not kidding. Just stop. Buy clothes that don’t need it. Dry your washing on hangers – and then straight into the cupboard. If you or your husband need business shirts for work – pay to get it done. Or make a plan to change jobs (or the dress code at work, it may take a bit, but trust me, it’s possible. And you all feel better and more yourself afterwards anyway). How many hours did you get into your “hours for just ME” bank? Honestly. OK, 2 hours. Make the kids make their own lunch boxes. OK skip if you have toddlers. But for the rest of you, ask your kids to be part of the tribe – show them you NEED them to … More How to find 6 hours a week – for YOU »

A hobby???? Isn’t that for retired people?

OK, here’s a secret: I’m 44 and have already spent SO many hours of my life doing things I love. If you start counting, how many hours did you spend this week on YOU and something you really like doing? If you can count them on one hand, GET MOVING on putting yourself and your passions up the top of the list (how did I know you have a to-do-list? Well, don’t we all?). I love singing, I always have. From when I was a kid, in choirs, bands, musicals, you name it. Most women stop celebrating their birthdays at some point, and in general stop celebrating anything remotely funny in their lives – especially when the kids come along. But that’s insane, you need it more than ever from then on! So I kept singing. It isn’t always easy and sometimes I drag myself to choir on a Thursday night. But guess what? I always leave with steps that are lighter and a smile on my face. So singing is my “breathing space”. When we had our first child, only two weeks passed before I was out the door to sing (aka. breathe!). And when we moved to the … More A hobby???? Isn’t that for retired people? »

A passion? No, I don’t have time for that..

Follow your passion! Why? Hrm… let me see: it would make you happy, fill your days and weeks with joy, give you energy to all the other things in life. Is that enough reason? I’m really good at following my passions. Some may say I’m selfish – or could you say I’m focused? Housework is over-rated, it will always come back, take all of your “spare time” and good sense of humour, so why not leave it for now and read a good book instead? I have many passions, that’s a safe way of always having an outlet that fits your mood, the weather, the time up your sleeve. Singing with others is one, painting nonsense paintings, reading, writing, running through the bush, just sitting thinking. How good is that for choice? Oh, did I mention “having time”? You never get time, you have to TAKE time to do the things you love, put them up the top of your list (yes, I also do to-do-lists!) because NOW is the best time. I proudly tell colleagues and friends how I can sit in the middle of a room where a bomb just seems to have gone off – and read. … More A passion? No, I don’t have time for that.. »