Our conversation continues as we focus on giving ourselves permission for ‘Me Time’…
Mark: I’ve become more aware of the importance of ‘Me Time’. It may be more personality driven, but I definitely need time away from the kids and my spouse. It can take various forms in order for me to recharge, reset, unplug from some of the responsibilities. Recognizing and taking the opportunity helps maintain balance.
Tonya: It can be hard to figure out what ‘Me Time’ actually looks like and not feeling guilty for taking it. When our kids were smaller, I remember asking my husband if we could each take a night a week to be ours. His was going to the church right from work on the night of worship practice, he’d have an hour or so to just play around on the piano. I would usually go to a book store or coffee shop and get lost in a fun book. Once I even took an evening sewing class.
John: That relates to something I wanted to bring out from a singleness versus couple basis. I believe single people have to come to terms with living life outside of the expectations they believe others have for them. I probably didn’t find that balance until about ten years ago, in my late thirties. I finally stopped saying yes to things out of obligation. That took me a while, and I’m going to guess it probably takes single people longer than married couples. I can do what I want at home and don’t have to figure this out with my spouse. A single person is going to be much more balanced if they just own who they are and not try to live in the mindset, “Everybody expects me to do this, so I must need to do this.” (It is okay to say No! It’s not abnormal to enjoy alone time). I’ve always maintained as a single person, “If you can’t be happy in this status, I’m not so sure you’re going to be happy in a marital one. You better be able to figure out how to be happy in this state so you don’t bring stuff into a marriage that doesn’t need to be there.”
Tonya: I can see how maintaining balance in ‘Me Time’ is harder for a single person, especially in ministry roles. It’s too easy for others to ‘assume’ a single person naturally has more time to give and should therefore be able to take on a bigger work load. In a marriage we hold each other accountable and can recognize when the other needs encouragement to slow down or take time for self. A single person has to listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and lean on Him for their strength to tell others, “No!”
We all have to get to that place of living for an audience of one. How do we put God first? How do we put what He is asking us above what others are expecting of us and be okay when they’re unhappy that their expectation wasn’t met? We’re all constantly learning and growing in that area.
Emotionally Healthy Leader by Pete Scazzero – www.emotionallyhealthy.org
John Gregory – pastor, coach, writer and musician – https://johngregoryjr.com/
Mark Stanifer – life coach, 20 yrs experience in corporate America, husband, father – https://dare2livecoaching.com/
Tonya Waechter – leadership coach, 22+ years therapy experience, wife, mother – www.tonyawaechtercoaching.com