Daily prompt: It’s Sunday

Daily Prompt
Me Time
What’s your ideal Saturday morning? Are you doing those things this morning? Why not?

No, I’m not doing ‘those things’ because it’s Sunday morning here, not Saturday, but even if it weren’t, I wouldn’t be, because they don’t exist.

There you go. Clear as mud!

Never mind, because my chief response to this prompt is a gritting of teeth and a distinct thinning of my luscious lips at the use of the phrase me time.

Yes, I do know what it means, and no, I am not a reactionary puritan (with permanently skinny lips) dedicated to the notion of perpetual self-sacrifice. Nor do I have a blanket horror of modern jargon. But me time sticks right in that part of my craw that’s already chokka with fed-upness at self-righteous self-centredness.

We all need to look after ourselves. It’s one of those ridiculous la-la land fantasies to imagine we can go on giving and getting nothing back and it’s all glorious. Bollocks. Either you get something back from somewhere (other people, yourself, or presumably God) or the well runs dry and caves in. Not pretty. You have to have time for yourself, or lose yourself entirely, which is no help to anyone. In fact you cause them a lot of grief. (And you know what? I learned this the hard way.)

So it’s not the concept I object to. It’s the phrase itself.

When the I am special mantra first hit the streets, we needed it. After decades of Love-thy-neighbour brainwashing, where as thyself was ignored as a rather unsavoury aberration, we fell on the idea of specialness with cries of not just delight, but enormous relief. Finally, we were allowed to have value without the need for independent verification.

But as with most changes of social attitude, the pendulum has now swung so far in the other direction that we’re verging on Love thyself and never mind thy neighbour. And the phrase me time, in my super-special, very, very precious opinion, is not only nauseatingly twee, but smacks of the major me-me-me preoccupation that’s breeding narcissists like rabbits, and encouraging people to wave their ‘rights’ about like a free pass to unrestricted entitlement.

So take time for yourself – we all need it. But please… please, don’t call it ME TIME!


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10 Responses to Daily prompt: It’s Sunday

  1. bkpyett says:

    Helen you write so well and express your fury in such a way that I have to laugh. I agree with your sentiments thoroughly! 🙂

  2. My pet hate is ‘being on a journey’, usually bandied around on reality TV shows. In other words ‘I am so aware of my shit now, so please, mindless millions, (jeering and carping from your well worn couches, totally unable to see your own faults) follow me on Twitter and buy/watch what every crap I’m touting. Grrr…

  3. “Breeding narcissists like rabbits” is the perfect description of what I sometimes see as a very entitled generation. Thank you for pointing out the complete phrase “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. Brilliant post. Thanks. Van

  4. Noah Weiss says:

    You bring up a great point: the concept of “me time” is important and good, but the terminology used can be perverted.

    But what would you suggest calling it?

  5. It’s just an annoying way of saying something. We all need time to do whatever it is we do. Write. Read. Paint. Play the piano. Watch a movie. You don’t need to call it “me time,” but it’s time for me and only me — because I can’t do those things while I’m tending to the needs of others … or even talking with them.

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