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Me time

Doing it for me

manuelita otero


When we lived in Singapore my daughter and I decided to take singing lessons. Every Saturday we would leave the boys, walk to a huge McCafe by our apartment and share an apple pie. I would drink a big cup of coffee while my daughter would play with the marshmallows in her hot chocolate and we would talk for about an hour. After our breakfast we would head to our singing lesson. I have always wanted to sing and since my daughter has always loved singing, it was a perfect morning for both of us. Nikka has a beautiful voice and singing to her comes naturally; on the contrary, I can’t carry a tune. I can’t sing, not even a little bit. Needless to say we laughed a lot in that class. At the beginning I honestly thought I could learn, I thought if I took lessons I could be good at it, but after a few lessons it became evident that singing was just not for me, at least not in public. Still, we continued our class for the year we lived in Singapore and we loved every single Saturday morning. I didn’t have to hit every note, or even remember the melody of the song, I just wanted to be there because I enjoyed it, just for the sake of loving what I was doing and who I was with.

We live in a fast paced, go get it society in which time is precious and needs to be spent wisely, so for many, spending your time doing something in which you are not “successful” could be a waste of time. That time could be spent doing something more “productive.” Nowadays it seems that if we are going to spend any time doing something we need to make the investment of time or money count, and believe me, I am one of those people who wants to squeeze as much as I can from time.

But not everything is about productivity or numbers, not even if you have good ideas and your heart in the right place. There needs to be a time separated to do something you love for the simple joy of doing it. How can you measure the success of doing something that makes you happy, or the beauty of creating a memory or just the plain joy of being completely present in the moment? There is no price or indicator or investment return for that. That is the beauty of life.  

When was the last time you did what you love for the simple pleasure of doing it? You did it for you, not for your family, or your Instagram feed, or to show others, you did it because it made you happy. No explanations, no excuses.  When was the last time you spent time alone figuring out what is it that you love? Sometimes in the rush of daily life we forget to pause and simply be. Life goes by fast and if we don’t intentionally separate time for ourselves, it’s just not going to happen. The joy of simply being is too beautiful to leave it to chance.

My daughter is now a young woman and even though I don’t take singing lessons with her anymore we often go to a coffee shop, share dessert and talk for hours over a nice cup of coffee. Good things never change.  

Manuelita @manuelitaotero