"2010 is all about doing and discovering." I am happy to say that this mantra worked better than any resolution I could have fooled myself into making. Vague enough to reduce the possibilities of failure and inspiring enough to pull me out of bed especially on dark, cold winter mornings. I started last year with an optimism and energy that propelled me through the tougher days. I did, a lot, and I learned a hell of a lot about myself, life, business and more.
It was exhausting!
Perhaps I demanded too much of myself or maybe, I took on too many external expectations. One thing became clear – something had to change. I needed a more sustainable approach to doing and discovering. Inspired again by the idea of less, after quite a bit of reflection, and experimentation, I realised that I actually needed more of … me-time. No rush, just undistracted, quality time with myself.
Conducive conditions and convictions
Incidentally, I was watching a documentary about a polygamous family the other night. And while I don't aspire to that kind of living arrangement, there was one thing that I found quite interesting. Sharing your husband's time, parenting and domestic duties with your sister-wives, potentially leaves you with a lot of time for yourself (my boyfriend is going to question me about this later!). But I digress…
A few days ago, I decided that 2011 would be all about making time for myself: in an attempt to address what doing and discovering left wanting and therefore to facilitate even better doing and discovering.
Making time for me benefits others
I understand from experience how difficult it can be to make the connection between taking time out for yourself and increased productivity. On the surface, it would seem that the former precludes the latter. It starts to make sense when you consider the difference between busy work and quality, fresh work that you can be proud of.
I realise that, for me to produce that kind of work every time, I need the right space and time that will allow me to truly reflect upon and immerse myself into what I'm doing. By learning how to regularly give myself this kind of space and time, and appreciating the value it adds to my life, I believe I'll be better able to insist on the importance of this space and time when creating things that others will also experience, use and enjoy.
Back to square one
You might be wondering what relevance this all has, in terms of Afri-love. It all goes back to my assertion that positive change begins with the self. In order for me to make a useful contribution to my family, my community, my continent, to the world even, I first have to ensure that I'm taking care of myself.
What good things are you doing for yourself this year?