Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Gift of Alone Time

I sit here on the eve of my husband and children returning from a 3 day trip to NJ to visit his sister.  I love his sister and her family dearly, but this trip I opted out of to be completely ALONE.  About a month ago I took the kids for several days to Pittsburgh to visit my parents while my husband stayed back. He said it was the best gift he had ever received, so he is now "gifting" me.

It is the first time in 7 1/2 years I have had the house to myself for more than a few hours.

I thought about these three days with great anticipation.  People would ask me what I was going to do with my time...was I going to go out with friends?  Starting a project?  Whoop it up?  Nope, none of the above, I planned on doing nothing productive, seeing no one and talking as minimally as possible.

And that's what I did.

I  wandered aimlessly down my favorite store isles without a list or an agenda.  I bought myself some new clothes and shoes instead of buying stuff for my kids. I took my dogs on two long walks each day.  I jogged without a care, a timed route or something to run back to. I prepared and ate my meals at super slow speed.  I took long hot showers without someone yelling for me.  I hogged the bed, the covers and all of the pillows.  I stayed up until 11:30 (gasp) watching a chick flick. I stayed in bed one morning until 9:00.  I didn't pick up after or correct anyone. I ate all healthy foods from my favorite organic market-and only used one dish, one utensil and one glass.  I rarely looked at the time. I didn't call anyone or answer my phone- and the only creatures I spoke to for more than a moment were my dogs.

It was total bliss!

What struck me about the last three days is how grounded and connected I feel now.  I have been neglecting my alone time-which was once such an important part of me.  Not everyone would have opted for three days of solitude.  Many would have made elaborate and exciting plans to keep themselves busy every moment.  And maybe that's what is calling you, but not me! I am a true introvert, as I get depleted by people (including my family) and need alone time to recharge.  I've always known this about myself and used to be (pre-children) much better at it. I just need to figure out how to incorporate this frequent decompression into my life instead of waiting another 7 1/2 years to get it!

What about you?  When was the last time you had extended time to do what you wanted to do?