As the parents of small children know, your previous sacred space, may specifically, the bathroom is no longer yours. Infact, the more intimate your task in the bathroom, the more likely you are to have a break in, right in the middle of said task. Head cocked at an angle to get the best view and face scrunched, you will hear, 'what ARE you doing Mam ?'.
There are four spaces and places where I can say that I allow myself to truly relax, breathe and have 'me' time.
1. The hairdressers.
As my previous blog posts recorded, I've only recently come around to the 'because I'm worth it' notion of spending a couple of hours and enough money to buy two pairs of decent shoes for the children on my head. Pure decadence. It also gives me an excuse to read magazines, the trashier the better. On my last visit, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge was still preggers. I read no less than THREE magazine articles scrutinising her maternity wardrobe and speculating on the sex of her baby. I can barely contain myself til my next hairdresser visit, so that I can get up to speed on Kate's post pregnancy weight loss/gain and Mother & baby Daughter wardrobe combos.
2. The car wash.
There you are. Trapped. Unable to clean the fridge, sort laundry or liquidise soup. Okay, it only lasts long enough to read Roisin Ingle's column in the Times, while slowly eating a Walnut Whip, but those 5 minutes, with the sound and motion of the brushes and water are divine. It's worth paying for a Super Deluxe Polish option, just to wangle a few more magic minutes. And you get a shiny new car at the end. It's a win-win situation.
3. My Car
Only when driving on my own. Ideally, newly hoovered. Radio blasting. Lavender oil sprinkled. A take away coffee at my side. Thinking time. I get my best ideas for work projects when I am driving. My employers really should send me on a round Ireland road trip. Who knows what I'd come up with.
4. Waiting Rooms
This is a contentious one. Depending on who and what you are waiting FOR, waiting rooms be the place of anticipation, grief or anxiety. I've spent a fair amount of time in waiting rooms in the last few years. Thankfully, most of waiting I do is for routine check ups that are quite un invasive and not particularly stressful. This time is totally guilt free. With my prescription, comes a letter from the doctor giving me permission to be there, within my working week. My taking time to mind me.
I love people watching in waiting rooms, wondering what their individual stories are. My neurology clinic in Beaumont is shared with one for Parkinson's Disease and oddly, a waiting area for a plaster room. The array of breakages is a sight to be seen.
Mostly though, I love to read, or perhaps write a blog. The longer the wait to see a doctor, the better. I witnessed an older man verbally abusing my neurologist's secretary the other day, about the long wait. I wanted to give him a kick up the bum and a good novel to read.
I had a glorious two hour wait to see my doctor the other day. Enough time to complete reading 'John The Revelator', a beautiful coming-of-age novel by Peter Murphy. It's a sad little tale, sad enough that I shed a few tears as I read the last few chapters. I was aware of other people-watchers watching me, presuming that the tears were for me. I kept it together. I'm learning.
After an informative consultation with my neurologist, I was ready to return to the real world, refreshed and well read.