My Facebook memory this morning was from last year’s New Years Eve Bash when I wore my favorite LuLaRoe dress and danced the night away and drank too much vodka and re-created Kim Kardashian’s best party trick.
This year’s was much less wild - bra was off by 6:30pm, romper and favorite sweatshirt were on, Chinese takeout was procured, and I was cuddled up on the couch with needlework and a Shaun the Sheep marathon with my kids until we stuck sparklers in potatoes in the backyard.
Life is beautiful and amazing when it’s a mix of wild and calm, loud and quiet, staying in and going out, acting up and slowing down. Being intentional with my time and thinking about how I want to really use it is something I've been thinking about a lot in 2017 and something I'd like to continue to implement in 2018.
There were a lot of important feminist moments in 2017 and I have several favorites, including this one. In what was arguably one of the most poignant political moments of 2017, Democratic Representative Maxine Waters spoke up to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin when she was testifying before the House Financial Services Committee in July. After he repeatedly spoke over her during her allotted period to intentionally run out the clock, she kept repeating over and over, "I'm reclaiming my time." It was recorded and widely reported and brilliant and meant so much more to all of us. Waters had been speaking out against the Trump administration for months before this and women all over the country had been applauding her voice and efforts, myself included. But this particular incident stood out because it resonated beyond this original context.
Like the Washington Post wrote soon after the incident:
Who among us, after all, hasn’t lost irreplaceable time to a uselessly meandering meeting, a pointless conversation or a draining social interaction? Waters’s phrase rang out as a rejection of that made manifest, delighting all of us who have been spoken over, ignored or had our time wasted by others. In a year studded with absurd examples of men interrupting their female colleagues, a dignified woman’s firm insistence on being heard and getting straight to business was a welcome and empowering surprise. And for many women and people of color, the phrase “reclaiming my time” felt particularly poignant, with the idea of reclamation specifically speaking to both the present and the past. Society has been wasting not only their time but also their voices, agency and potential — for years. Yes, there is the ongoing silencing and underrepresentation of women and people of color in boardrooms and business offices. But there are also centuries of being unable to vote, run for office or participate in public life. There are decades of enforced or de-facto segregation by gender and race.
2017 was the year I truly learned the importance of reclaiming my time. 2018 is the year I'm taking it seriously.
Here's to reclaiming my time from the internet trolls
Reclaiming my time from those who spend theirs tearing me down
Reclaiming my time from feeling shame over my cellulite
Reclaiming my time from feeling like an imposter
Reclaiming my time from those who expect my labor and expertise for free
From not asking for what I’m worth
From saying yes too much
Reclaiming my time from seeing unwanted penises and predatory sexual contact
Reclaiming my time from thieves of my joy and frauds and liars and fake friends
Reclaiming my time from what others think about me
Reclaiming my time from the guilt of motherhood
Reclaiming my time from diet culture and healthism
Reclaiming my time from other women’s internalized misogyny
Reclaiming my time from keeping up appearances
From striving for perfection
From pretending to be something I’m not
From exercising out of fear
From hiding my body to make others comfortable
Reclaiming my time in the sun and the dirt
Reclaiming my time in a bikini
Reclaiming my time in the kitchen
Reclaiming my time in the yoga studio and in the foothills
Reclaiming my time in the bathtub with my books
Reclaiming my time in front of the camera
Reclaiming my time by pausing and stitching and being still and moving my hands
Reclaiming my time in 20 second hugs
Reclaiming my time in my head and my heart