Where is my social life? I could put my social life as an image on the side of a milk carton in America. It’s like a missing person. God that sounds tragic! Let me be clear, it’s not that I don’t have friends, or even that my friends don’t want to talk to me. At least I hope that’s not what has happened. It is simply that my ability to have a social life as it once was. Does that sound familiar?
I’m not saying I was one of these people who went out to the pub most nights and clubs every weekend. Far from it! Yes – I’d go to pubs after work every week or so, sometimes bars, but rarely entered clubs past the age of 25 I think. However, I definitely loved a fancy meal out in a restaurant as frequently as I could, because they cook way better than I do for a start. And I love a good chat!
Investigating the suspects
I’m not totally sure how this social life of mine diminished. I know the main culprits though. I entered parenthood, self employment and my 30s over the space of around 18 months. So it is more than likely down to these things. But who knows which one killed it first. Parenthood is the primary suspect for a lot of people. Those beautiful children can and will take a lot of your time and energy. We all know that! But jumping from employment to self employment can really take you out of the social loop too.
Think about it. If you worked in an office, like I did, you spent 40 hours (and in some cases much more than that) in a room with people for most of your week. And if you liked those people, and sometimes even if you didn’t, you would go for a quick drink after work, or some events would happen at the weekend, etc.
Once that goes, and you’re in your own office, it’s difficult to recreate that camaraderie. Yeah you can chat to your pets, and let’s face it, people often do. But they aren’t really going to hold a good conversation.
But I can still socialise….surely?!?!
You absolutely can socialise still. Being a parent, business owner in your 30s does not make you suddenly unequipped to chat to people or go to events. But it does do one thing that can be a massive social block. It saps your time.
Have you cancelled plans before as your child was ill and forgot to rearrange?
Have you ever promised yourself you were only working till 7pm and looked at the clock and it was half 9?
Have you ever just breathed a sigh of relief because someone else cancelled something that you did want to attend but now you’re just tired after a long week?
Of course you have! And that’s perfectly fine to do. But we are social creatures and we need to ensure we stay connected.
So how do we change?
Parenthood, being a business owner, and being 34 cannot be changed. So what can we do about the demands on our time and energy?
Why not book in time for you? I know, sounds too simple right? Just get that diary out and book some time for you to do something you want to do. It might be that you go out for a meal with friends, or catch up with an old work colleague over a drink, whatever, but book it in. And more importantly, stick to it!
If you want anything in life, you have to prioritise it. You have to do something towards it. Nothing will change if nothing changes. So why not make a new, more positive demand on your time? Treat it like an appointment that cannot be moved. It’s not being selfish, it’s self-preservation. And that stuff is vital!
Now do it again. Keep booking regular time for yourself. And enjoy thinking of new things to spend your time on. And if people cancel on you, use that time on yourself replenishing your energy. Binge-watch something you’ve never got time to watch, read a book that you’ve never got round to, go get your hair done, just DO YOU!
I’d love to hear about what you are spending your YOU time on, so please let me know. If you’re local to Sutton Coldfield and run a business, I have created a new social event just for you! It’s called Connect & Collaborate and you can click here to read all about it, I’m looking forward to seeing you and buying you a drink to celebrate taking some time for yourself.