Review: The Fringe Hours

The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You
Jessica N. Turner
Revell, 2015
Goodreads | CloudLibrary | Bibliocommons

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Christian mommy blogger Jessica Turner inspires us women who “do it all” to do even more by eking out moments for ourselves in between serving everyone else. I picked this up skeptically, wondering if I would love or hate it.

I am a woman who tries to do it all. I want to be a good wife, good mom, good lover, good friend. My perfectionist standards are only mine, as nobody else expects this from me. Perfection is exhausting and unattainable, yet I still find myself wishing to achieve it. In this unattainable quest, I consistently place my needs below serving others for a variety of (mostly bad) reasons. How can I then meet my needs and satisfy myself while still being overall amazing?

Turner says we can achieve this with the time we already have, ten or fifteen minutes here and there, taking that time to reconnect with ourselves, our prayer practice, and our hobbies. Essentially, ensuring that we are using every moment that we have in the best way that we can, making intentional choices to reinvigorate us to practice self-care… in between serving everyone else. A “fringe hour” is a pocket of time that you “already have” where you could be doing something more productive then scrolling through social media or zoning out while waiting in line somewhere.

This idea is both inspiring and terrifying. How much time am I wasting each day? Am I using every moment well? Am I min-maxing my day appropriately? Is sitting here writing while my kid watches some Blippi a good use of my time because I’m actually writing while drinking too much coffee, or am I being a bad mom because he’s watching television and I’m not hydrating enough to “glow up”? I was awake before 6am though…. ah, is it Saturday? There’s no time-of-use hydro pricing right now, I should be doing laundry!

The thought of putting my own self-care as one more thing on my checklist of everything I try to achieve is nauseating. But she’s not entirely wrong; prioritizing your own values and needs is important… but more important than cramming it in between other tasks.

In the spirit of this book, I read the entire thing in between COVID-screening patrons at work.

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