This past weekend, I had way too much alone time. My son is in Africa, my daughters were with their dad, and my husband was on a seven-day business trip.
The calendar was bare. I had no scheduled commitments from 6 pm Friday until 9 pm Sunday.
At first, I thought this expanse of quiet, all-by-myself time would be a treat. I’d read and write and nap and operate at my own pace. I might even stay in pajamas all weekend, and never leave the house.
After the first sleep, I longed for chit chat. I hooked my iPad to a speaker and played an Audible book right out into the open, no headphones required. Soothed by the story (if you like movie stars and memoir, I recommend Rob Lowe’s Love Life), I sat down at the table to eat breakfast and Zentangle a car.
Then I busied myself with laundry and spent a lot of the weekend on a movie binge, getting lost in stories. My son will be happy I finally saw Hotel Rwanda. My husband will be glad he didn’t have to sit through Behind the Candelabra. And my daughters were spared the foul language (and my riotous laughter) of This is 40.
By mid-afternoon Saturday, wishing for a “must do,” I added an event to my online calendar: Sit Shiva at 7 PM. My friend’s father had passed away, and I wanted to support the family. I looked online for guidance on what to wear and how to behave, and took my Christian self into a beautiful, new experience. I’m glad I went.
Clear in the self-discovery that I am not one to sit still—at least not when I’m alone—I spent the rest of the weekend going places, doing things, and watching the clock. Good God, was I thankful when the girls arrived home a few minutes early Sunday night! I hugged them too hard and too long and let them stay up late.
All that alone time drove me crazy.
I’m the opposite. I thrive on alone time.
Interestingly, I work alone most of the time. For hours on end, I sit at my desk and write, all by myself. And I love it! But the time is divided by phone calls and deadlines. That purposeful rhythm that must make a big difference to my psyche.
Beth, I am having one of those evenings right now. I have 10 million things that I should do (and I have done some of them) but all alone tonight I am fidgety and distracted and missing the craziness of my kids. Usually when I am with them I want a “few” minutes of quiet – maybe I won’t feel that way anymore! I loved your post and I can relate! Thanks for your writing, I often read it and really enjoy it!
Let’s check back with each other, and see if these experience serve as any sort of wake-up call. Maybe I’ll put a rubber band on my wrist, so I can snap it whenever I’m wishing away the hubbub and craving peace and quiet. Think that will work?
Also, thank you for reading my words. I’m committed to posting twice a week. A year of posting daily was amazing … and exhausting. This feels like a more reasonable pace. Chime in when you can. The dialogue is so rewarding!
I’m social, but CRAVE alone time. I can’t remember the last time I was anywhere alone for more than 30 minutes. A whole weekend to do/read/watch/sleep/eat/work out whenever and whatever I want?? Sounds like a dream to me!
Kristi, I know! This is most definitely a “grass is always greener” situation. I really thought the weekend would feel luxurious and fun … not anxious and slow. Surprise!
I enjoy the solitude of the early morning and get distracted, easily. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to time….I’ve had a few alone days or weekends the past year and have enjoyed them, but it’s always good to get home or have everyone come home….