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I am in last place: why after 40 years women are not able to spend time on themselves



“Time for yourself” is the psychological trend of the last decade. And, to be honest, it is very difficult for people who have grown up in the paradigm of "first think about the homeland, and then about yourself." Columnist Julia Verklova shares her experience.

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People who are now behind 40 simply do not know how to waste time on themselves. Yes, they already understood that there was nothing bad or shameful about it. They got rid of the universal guilt complex and do not think that the world will collapse while they are sitting in the hairdresser. Maybe even they already looked like a psychologist - and by a strong-willed decision forced themselves to be selfish for an hour a day ... But this did not bring them happiness. Why?

We do not know what we will enjoy

It seems to be obvious: “time for oneself” is time consciously spent for one’s own pleasure.

However, if you have lived for 30-40 years “not for joy, but for conscience,” you have no idea what exactly will give you pleasure. Most of you cling to the clichés circulated by glossy magazines: go to a massage, to a spa, do yoga, sit with your girlfriends in a cafe ...

I remember reading an article about parenting recently. The author told how a psychologist advised him to do what he liked the most for an hour a day - and the lucky man remembered for sure that he liked football from childhood, but he was not sent to the section. And now he, an adult uncle, plays football with other adult uncles from nine to ten in the evening. He comes home happy, and therefore they have no scandals and quarrels at home, and the children are even allowed not to do their homework.

I did not have such distinct memories. But I immediately realized that football is not my story. Therefore, I honestly tried the entire “glossy list”: massage, pool, spa, yoga ... Perhaps this was a health benefit, but the pleasure is average. Spoiled by the same guilt for wasted time and money. Trying to artificially make time for myself, I only expanded the circle of tedious duties: work, home, humanity.

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How to calculate what you really like? By and large, there are two ways: either try everything in a row until you stumble on “your own”, or surrender to psychotherapy and get to the bottom of your own needs. The second way is more reliable, because the needs “for oneself” may not be obvious at all.

For example, my hidden need was the need to speak out. I myself would not have thought of it, because in life I’m not a talker.

This is a fairly typical story: in childhood, we taught ourselves not to whine and not to brag - that is, not to talk about ourselves. Do not interrupt - that is, do not participate in advanced dialogs. Do not argue with elders - that is, do not express your opinion ...

But the need remained. And does it not explain the global popularity of social networks and personal blogs? People want to talk. But they are embarrassed: the time spent in social networks is not considered to be “for themselves” time and is not approved by the intelligent public. I often came across advice to abandon social networks just in order to "be with me." But maybe Facebook and Odnoklassniki is this outlet?

Now I go to the psychologist to chat. And I pay money for it. In the family, if they give me a chance, I will immediately be obliged to listen to three long confessions in return. With friends - the same reciprocity. And with a psychologist, I'm just talking about myself - this is “time for myself.” The good thing is that it is strictly limited: they talked for an hour - and return to the people.

We confuse time with self-presentation

I don’t know how men are, and most women perceive “time for themselves” as an obligation to put themselves in order and give themselves a marketable appearance. Manicure, pedicure, hair removal, haircut-dyeing, shopping - you need to allocate special time to look expensive and dignified.

Have you ever fallen asleep in a barber’s chair? This short unplanned dream, perhaps, was "time for oneself." Everything else is part of the work process, obligatory. But we have already marked it as spent on ourselves - and it seems that we are no longer supposed to.

The same story with all sorts of educational courses: foreign languages, culinary master classes, painting and macramé - should we consider them to be “on my own” time? This is solely a matter of internal perception. If you need all this in order to present a diploma to someone, then it will be more honest to put this in the column “work”. And if you enjoy the process itself, then you spend time on yourself.

We try not to share our personal time with anyone.

We think that you can only devote time to yourself by driving away all other applicants for us and our time. Sitting alone in the kitchen at night is time for yourself. And have sex with your husband in the bedroom? This is no longer very selfish: there are two of you.

In fact, happiness is complicity. And time for yourself is very useful (and nice) to spend in the company of those who love you. It seems to me, if this idea is recognized and accepted, then you won’t even have to specially devote time to yourself: you can just live in the feeling that everything lived through is “on yourself”.

When we decide with a child examples in mathematics - this, of course, is not for ourselves, but for school, for society, for the future. When I listen to the theory of building towers at Fortnight from the youngest, this is also not for myself, it is for him. Parental duty, obligatory expression of interest ... But, as Lyudmila Petranovskaya rightly noted, you did not give birth to children for them to pass the exam.

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We gave birth to children in order to enjoy communication with them. Literally all parents forget about it as soon as the children go to school.

When my youngest son and I watch Miracles and Curals at the Musical Theater, this is time for ourselves, albeit for two. Or when we knead the dough with pies for pies - this is also for ourselves, albeit in four hands and for the whole family. Or when with a husband we wind 20 of thousands of steps along the back streets of Moscow - this is all the time for ourselves. You don’t even have to talk - we’re just walking along, we’re just there, we’re just happy, and all the excess from the brain is eroding in the meantime.

The most interesting thing is that these "waste", although they take time away from work, but paradoxically allow you to do more in less time. This is an emotional burnout protection.

We turn time on ourselves into procrastination

In order to protect myself from burnout, I once decided to spend time on myself and do something pleasant whenever there was a difficulty in work. You write, write - suddenly the thought is over. You get up, you go for a walk. Or knead the dough. Or you hang out on social networks ... And then you realize that all the deadlines are screwed up. And time for yourself is nothing more than procrastination. No matter how trite it may seem, only an old Russian proverb saves here: business is time, fun is an hour. Having decided to spend time on yourself, you need to clearly limit it. Right on the alarm clock: an hour for yourself - and again for work.

We are still in last place

We all perfectly understand that “taking care of ourselves” is, first of all, taking care of our health: a gym, a healthy lifestyle, medical examinations or visits to the doctor upon the first request of the body, and not when we’re intolerable.

I’ve clearly taken my mother to the medical examination on schedule. The child complained that his stomach hurts - and I dragged him to all the specialists. My husband even pushed to the dentist.

And by the way, I also have a medical examination according to the plan this year. But I can’t choose the time for it. Because with all my theoretical preparedness, the ancient installation “think first about your homeland, and then about yourself” still remains dominant.

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