Alone but not Lonely
"Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it."
~ M. Scott Peck
Everyone could use a little"Alone Time."
How is it that I can be all alone on a Saturday night, enjoying a solitary meal and not feel anywhere near as lonely as I can in crowds of people? Working as much as I do, I have discovered through the years that I often enjoy a quiet evening at home. It started even before the kids were born. I was working full time with several part time jobs. There always seemed to be family and social obligations. Being the big sports aficionado that he was, my husband was often either at a ballgame, playing ball or watching one on TV. Instead of playing the "football widow" role, I took advantage of it. I would clean the house, chill some wine, grab a book and lay on the couch and read. How decadent! I learned to enjoy and treasure those solitary moments when all was right with the world. They gave me the strength for the less than solitary, for the hustle and bustle that was our usual routine.They gave me something to look forward to during my busiest, most frustrating hours. They were my drug, my tonic and I never, ever felt lonely.
"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much" ~Jackie Kennedy
Finding time to take a break with a Growing Family.
As our family grew, so did our responsibilities and our schedules. My time off was less frequent but still enjoyed. Often it had to be scheduled after a little one finally fell asleep! No matter, it was still very welcomed! Then my circumstances changed a lot. I suddenly found myself alone with 2 preteens and no nights off! But eventually, it happened, they got older! They began to have places to go and things to do that no longer included me! I had my solitary Saturday evenings back. Oh, how I loved them! Just thinking about those evenings, I remember. I remember how I felt, what I was wearing, what I read and what I ate. Well, not really, I just know what it would have been. I can see myself lighting candles, putting on music, cooking a simple meal. And I never felt lonely. I never felt lonely because I wasn't alone. It was a retreat, a reprieve, "me time" and what made it so special was the fact that in a few short hours, the noise and joy of my family would return once more. The perfectly lined up pillows, the floors vacuumed "just so", that would all get messed up as soon as they walked in the door.But that was okay because those retreats were my proof that a house could stay clean for more than 5 minutes. They were my proof that I was an individual. An individual who deserved some pampering!
"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Last year I sent my baby to college. Instead of fearing the empty nest, I embraced it. I found that i really enjoyed not having to cook and clean for everyone. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. It was me and two beautiful kitty girls. It was peaceful and relaxing. No more trying to find "me time." Everyday allowed for that. It's not to say that I didn't miss them or that I wasn't excited when they came home for the weekend or holidays. It was simply that for the past seven years, I have been both mother and father and I was ready for a break! It was fun being able to come and go as I pleased.Sometimes it got lonely but for the most part I enjoyed it. I was so busy enjoying it, I forgot that my son would be graduating that year! I also didn't account for the fact that my daughter would miss me too much to be two hours away!
"I take a very practical view of raising children. I put a sign in each of their rooms: “Checkout Time is 18 years.”~Erma Bombeck
Full House again!
Now both of my chicks have returned to the nest and along with them two more cats. We lack order and discipline. We have more cats than people and two of them are babies! Our environment is chaotic. I am still trying to find my way up and out but it is difficult. My main release has been in my writing. So...write I will! Because they are older and have their own friends and activities, I still have alone time. Since our home has over doubled in numbers this year, we still haven't really found our rhythm. I am not too worried. We will find it and when I find my "me time", it will be welcomed like a cherished old friend.