One way I can reliably win quiet, restorative time for myself is through reading. Since childhood, I've tended to hide myself inside a book. Now that my children have turned into proper people, demanding thoughtful interaction, I sometimes have to retreat from them into the peace of a book to recover my inner balance. The trouble is, they know exactly what I'm up to, and they don't like it. They insist on trying to talk to me while I'm reading, pulling my attention back to themselves. (How dare they.)
So those minutes I can steal during the busy times of the day -- at the stove, stirring dinner; at the table, scoffing lunchbox leftovers; maybe a quiet twenty minutes between putting away the washing and starting dinner preparation, while the kids are chilling after school -- become all the more precious. If I'm sprung, I have to put the book away and go back to being Mum.
But now I'm wondering, did I seek solace in books in the first place because I found people such hard work? Or have years of retreating into reading rendered me unfit for normal human interaction?