I'm beginning to think it's a way of life for military spouses - and most people nowadays.  We are all trying to do more - after all, computers should allow us to be so much more effective!?!?!!?  Technology was supposed to cut our workday to 4 hours and give us more time to spend in leisure. 

What happened to that? I was such a big fan of the leisure time theory!

I have a full time 'job' - volunteer, but it's 40 - 60 hours every week.  Fortunately, I love every minute of it!  But with three kids and a husband, it sometimes gets the best of me. 

Fortunately, I have a very demanding husband. He demands that I take time for the family, demands that I have time for him, and demands that I get my two or three tubby times a week for me!

Lately, I've fallen into the habit of feeling bad if I take time to get my hair done - which would explain why I have long hair and why I am looking haggard in recent photos.  Have an appt. tomorrow!

So, what do you do in this modern, busy world to make time for yourself?  To make time for your family? To make time to maintain your sanity and move yourself forward?

My top 10:

1. Take a bath - alone time is okay - some days I have to settle for going to the bathroom once by myself!

2. Drink a glass of wine on the couch with a chick flick and Papa Bear.  He usually takes this time to read the paper and catch up on magazines!  Which is fine, don't really need him to be attentive until the movie's over (can I say that here on the web???)!  Going out to dinner also works on this one, but I like being relaxed and not stressing over the whole going out and having to look nice.  (esp. since it's been months since I've seen the inside of a beauty salon!)

3. Plan my week's meals and shop once a week for the necessary items.  To this end I have gotten an absolutely fabulous Crock Pot Cook Book. I HIGHLY recommend this method of cooking!

4. Spend at least one hour of non-TV time with my kids.  It's harder than it sounds, esp for those of us with jobs.

5. Call my sister.  For those of you who don't have a sister - get a really, really close best girl friend.  Debbie is my hero and my confidant.  I want to grow up to be just like her - still!

6.  Plan my kids 'I'm in trouble' chores for the week.  Spring cleaning items that I need to get done to feel better about how the house looks (polishing copper, washing windows, cleaning floorboards, wash doors,clean fans, bring up or down the clothing bins).  That way, when they are punished at least their punishment is of some benefit to me.  Takes me about 5 minutes to think up these gems and them a few hours to accomplish.  Trust me, this is a great use of 5 minutes and your kid's attitude truly improves - quickly!

7. Stop and take time to eat.  No working while I'm eating. Often it's those Maruchen noodle lunches or a cup of hot chocolate, but I have to just eat and breathe between bites.  I can watch out the window, but I have to be alone and regroup.

8. Work on things that will de-clutter my life.  Getting through some of my inbox is always a relaxing 3 or 4 hour event.  It's not as stressful as 'work' but I feel really good when I'm below 2,000 items in my inbox!

9. Play basketball, soccer, football with the boys or just relax with them.  My middle kiddo, Bubba, just loves to be with me - no need to do anything, he just loves to hang out.  Goober wants active attention, gotta DO stuff with a six year old.  The oldest (13) wants to hang out, but only if we're doing something academic or Scouts related.  I think we've reached the stage where hanging with mom is no longer cool stage of life.

10. Make cloud pictures.  I know, I know - who does this anymore????  Me!  I love to just sit back and watch the clouds go rolling by.  My grandmother had a thing for clouds and I guess I came by it honestly.  Sometimes you just gotta watch the flowers grow. 

So, what's your top 10 ways to relax?  Looking back, it's such an introverts top 10.  I'm sure an extrovert would have more things with other people.  Well, let's see.  Give me your top 10 and then see if you can tell if you are an introvert or an extrovert from your answers! 

Maybe I'll give some of these a try and move myself into other ways to relax in this hectic exhausting world!

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