Day 19 — It’s been a week of informal ‘messing around’ and being alone — having fun with others and relaxing while alone.
During the past few days I have amused myself with activities and diversions of my choice.
On Monday I realized that this was the last full week that I would be home alone so I took full advantage of each day.
It was a luxury to spend one full day at home clearing up clutter in my office/den. I sorted through year-end bank and investment statements, prepared documents for income tax filing, shelved books, sorted magazines and filed heaps of documents that had taken up residence on my writing-table. Without interruptions, I made progress on a job that I usually postpone as long as possible.
I used another day for a solo shopping trip. I bought new make-up and treated myself to two pairs of shoes that I don’t really need — but both pairs make my feet look and feel good. My cats were annoyed as they had to stay home alone for the day — too bad.
Time at the gym took up three mornings. After an exercise class and some time in the pool, it was time for coffee and a healthy lunch in the gym restaurant. Taking care of my body also meant lots of laughter and time to exchange of news with gym buddies.
I took care of my mind by playing bridge on two afternoons. Bridge gives good thrills when contracts are successfully bid and made. It requires strategy and thinking. More important, though, is the value from quality time spent with good friends.
Other brain stimulation came from reading.
I finished two books and attended a book club meeting. The book club discussion was disappointing but the lunch conversation after the meeting made the outing worthwhile.
Attending a Lenten study group that focused on compassion provided spiritual ‘stretching’. I also used part of my weekly yoga class for meditation — a quiet time that helps me keep a positive perspective on life.
With my husband away, I had a solo lunch with my son at an excellent Indian restaurant. Besides enjoying wonderful food we had a relaxed conversation. One-on-one time with our son is a luxury that happens less frequently now that he is married.
I also attended two committee meetings for organizations where I volunteer, visited the periodontist, had a haircut, and did some research for a presentation scheduled next month. Obviously, there was little time left for writing blog posts.
As I look at the list of the diversions, amusements and activities of the past week, it’s a relief that my husband has been away as I would have had little time to spend with him.
Since I was alone I had no guilt about not cooking, nor doing any household chores. I simply did ordinary things but took pleasure in messing around at leisure.
I realized that there is truth to the adage ‘being alone doesn’t mean being lonely.’ For me, being home alone means appreciating the time I spend with myself and choosing when I will spend time with others.
I don’t isolate myself as I get value out of relationships with interesting people. But having the gift of quiet is a joy.
In three days my husband returns and I look forward to resuming our routines as a couple. The truth is that I do miss him and would not want to spend an infinite amount of time without him.
This time has taught me — again — how to enjoy my own company.
Going forward, I resolve to incorporate more time alone into my postworksavvy lifestyle so that I can putter around in freedom, reap the benefits of solitude, and then take greater pleasure in all the benefits of a ‘couple’ relationship.