By a strange twist of fate and a rare alignment of the sun and stars on the unicorn new year, I have an hour to myself.
I regularly dream of this moment.
In the small hours of the morning when I’m rocking Little O back to sleep after a random spell of night-waking, I imagine the many wondrous things I could achieve with just a small amount of time to myself.
How productive could I be, how groomed might I look if I just had some free time?
When this extraordinary occasion arises, the reality doesn’t necessarily always match the hype.
Here’s how it actually goes:
A little voice in my head screams ‘sleep woman, sleep!’. However I generally conclude that an hour is not enough time to wind down, read a few pages of my boring send-me-to-sleep novel and have enough time to get through a full sleep cycle. I would need to set an alarm and I can’t bear that. I rely on Little O to wake me each morning, the sound of babbling is actually quite nice compared to the alternative of my nerve-jangling ‘laser’ sound effect iphone alarm.
I waste a good 10 minutes of my hour of freedom deciding not to sleep.
I constantly glance around my living room and wish I had time to tidy up the piles of tat that accumulate everywhere and to put away the small plastic toys that seem to attract the soles of my feet.
But, why would I want to spend ‘me’ time on chores? I could spend the time tidying, only for Little O to commando-crawl through the living room afterwards, dragging everything she can find along with her. It’s a futile exercise. It’s fine that I’ve lost one flip-flop and keep finding plastic ball-pool balls in inappropriate places. I’m ok with shape sorter bricks scattered on the sofa, it adds a dash of colour to the room.
I waste a further 10 minutes staring at the aforementioned messy living room from the comfort of the sofa and decide not to do any chores.
I’m so far out of touch with today’s TV that I don’t know where to begin with selecting suitable daytime viewing material. If it’s not ‘In the Night Garden’ or ‘Postman Pat’ then it’s basically alien to me.
Of course, one-hour episodes of decent dramas are reserved for evening viewing with Mr O. Thats how we roll these days.
After flicking through hundreds of channels, none grab my attention and I’ve allowed another 10 minutes to slip through my fingers.
Well, DIY grooming always seems a great idea but when it comes to it… ah no.
There’s an excellent salon near to where I live, with very reasonable prices. My own manicuring skills leave me looking like I’ve been finger-painting therefore it would be easier and safer all round not to spend my precious hour making myself look worse.
No appointments available at short notice, but I have a nice chat on the telephone with the receptionist. It’s nice to have an adult conversation.
There’s nothing left to do except….
Spending precious time looking at photos of people I don’t know, who people I’ve not seen for 15 years have ‘liked’. Yes.
Getting distracted by photos of other people’s weddings, babies and exotic holidays. Yes.
Accidentally buying more baby tat for Little O, to add to the mess in our living room? Of course! We have to keep up with the Next Big Thing
After 55 minutes, I realize I have yet again frittered away a free hour. I spend the final few minutes messaging my mum-friends to arrange a play date and a coffee, safe in the knowledge that it’s always more fun frittering time away together.
Next time I have a spare hour, I’ll definitely be more productive. I might even track down that missing flip-flop.