Why I’m Not a World Leader

My favourite part of the day is the two or three hours every evening between the time my kids’ heads hit the pillow and when mine does.

There’s no one tugging on my sleeve, hanging off my leg, asking for help with their homework, insisting “I’m still hungry!”, whining “He looked at me!” or suggesting I come inspect their poo because it looks a little weird.

Most nights, there’s no book club meeting, no girls’ night out, no date night with Luc, no family get-together. Work was done hours ago and my BlackBerry is off. The phone isn’t ringing, the email is checked and my Facebook status is updated.

If I’m lucky, there’s no pile of laundry to be folded, the dishes are washed and the kids’ lunches for the next day are packed.

It’s my time. Downtime. And most nights, this is NOT what I’m doing during my downtime:

  • I am not visiting 112 countries in four years (like Hillary Clinton).
  • I am not writing a book on the history of hockey while simultaneously running the country (à la Stephen Harper).
  • I am not supporting military families, helping working women balance career and family, encouraging national service, promoting the arts, and fostering healthy eating and healthy living for children and families, while standing by my man in the White House (go Michelle Obama!).
  • I am not revolutionizing how we communicate through social media, becoming a billionaire by age 23 or being named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine (thanks for setting the bar, Zuckerberg).

Here is what I AM most likely doing during my downtime:

  • Watching “House Hunters” marathons on HGTV.
  • Obsessively checking how many visitors and views I’ve gotten on my blog.
  • Reading.

Everyone needs downtime–time to relax, take a break, breathe. But I just can’t picture Angela Merkel flipping through People magazine, Mohamed Morsi browsing the web, or Pope Benedict XVI munching on buttered popcorn and channel surfing (although I suppose he’ll have more time for that now…)

I realize I’m not an ambitious person. My goals are modest (I’d love to renovate the kitchen). My aspirations are attainable (I’d like to pay off the mortgage and retire comfortably on my government pension). My hopes and dreams are realistic (a trip to Disney World sometime in the next year or two would be nice). I live in my happy little home with my happy little family in my happy little bubble.

I also realize we need people to lead revolutions, stabilize the global economy, defend the weak, invent, innovate, inspire, and keep this strange and complicated world of ours humming. People who use their downtime to further a cause, free the oppressed and forge ahead.

That’s just not me. And I openly admit that I wouldn’t trade anything for those two or three blessed hours of peace with my remote beside me, my laptop on my knees and a novel in my hands, my sweet babes safe and sound and asleep in their beds, and my soft pillow waiting for me upstairs.

Check out Luc’s thoughts on downtime.


10 thoughts on “Why I’m Not a World Leader

  1. Love this! I need those 2 hours to decompress too! I figure it’s a huge accomplishment when I make it through 2 TV shows without falling asleep as a matter of fact!

  2. Thanks! (And you’re right, I maybe should have said “Sleeping through House Hunters marathons on HGTV” to be a little more accurate!)

  3. Joyce says:

    I get it! When I read things about finding your true purpose in life or tapping into your dreams, it feels a little lame to admit that I have none, outside of living my days with as much contentment as possible. I would like to travel as much as possible some day, but I don’t need a life coach for that, I need money.

  4. Nice post. Some funny moments and lots of head shaking (in agreement).
    Downtime is a beautiful thing.

  5. MaryO says:

    Thats my favorite time of night too! 😃 Although its usually much shorter than 3 hours (despite my boys early bedtime–7:30) I generally fall asleep in the couch before the end of an hour long show. 😉

  6. Lynn says:

    Word to this, although a word of warning – the time is fleeting! Now that our oldest is 10, he’s not going to bed until 9 p.m. – by then I’m a total flake-out, ready for bed myself. I really miss the days when everyone was in bed by 7 and we could actually rent a movie or just chill out. We’re currently trying to figure out how to reclaim some downtime with a littler person wandering around the house at the same time – it’s a challenge!

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