While the past two weekends were busy with disaster control and music at Firefly, then relaxation and romance in Ocean City, I’ve followed it up with a whole lot of alone time this week. John’s out on the other side of the country in California visiting his mom and sister for a week (and I am so totally envious), and my family has been away at the beach and the boat. That leaves me and the doggies, who have been following me around like, well, dogs with expressions that say, You are supposed to be entertaining us. Sorry, pups, but I just can’t be as interesting or chaotic as five people usually are.
Though the thought of having the house to myself all week was exciting, I was, admittedly, feeling somewhat abandoned. I found myself wishing I could just up and go somewhere, reminiscing about the days of summer vacation. It’s been a couple of years since I had anything resembling one, and I gotta say, I miss it dearly. I remember actually getting bored during summer breaks. My sisters do that now. I want to tell them (and my past self) to relish that boredom! Embrace it! Go learn how to make… stuff. Anything. These years will fly by.
But since I don’t have a summer break, here I am. I decided I’d make good use of my days of solitude, and I found inspiration from Shannon from Awash With Wonder, who wrote a really thoughtful and insightful post about loneliness and how it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, she says, it’s something that should be embraced, and I agree:
The simple solution to no longer being overwhelmed by loneliness is that you have to allow yourself to feel.
It’s scary though, isn’t it? Who knows what we may find or who we’ll become if we stop for even a moment. We have to keep moving. We have to keep pushing forward to that just-out-of-reach point in the future where we will be whole and our doubts will be silenced. We want to silence our doubts, but we won’t listen to them first. We want our feelings to go away, but we don’t want to feel them first. We believe that if we suffocate parts of ourselves, those parts will just fall off, and somehow we will still be whole without them. Not going to happen.
Click here to read the rest of the post.
And she’s right. It’s interesting when you pay attention to the thoughts and feelings you have when your only company is a couple of panting dogs and you. While I can’t say I’ve used every moment to my advantage (I really need to stop aimlessly passing time on the computer), I did do a lot of things this week that I don’t do often enough.
- I cooked for one: myself. I didn’t eat frozen dinners or plain noodles just because it was only me. (I’ve been guilty of that in the past.) Instead, I made bowtie pasta in vodka sauce with crumbled bacon and peas one night, and tofu & vegetable chili the next. The latter was my favorite, and I have tons of leftovers. I’ll save some for my family and see if they even realize it’s not beef.
- I had dinner at my dad’s house. He surprised me with an old favorite: Roy Rogers roast beef sandwiches. Yum.
- I picked up my guitar for the first time in I don’t know how long. I even recorded myself playing and singing on GarageBand, just for fun. (I also laughed at myself, by myself, during the process.) The sensation of sore guitar fingers is one I’d forgotten about.
- I washed my shower curtain and changed the liner. That shit’s gross.
- I picked up a 5k registration form at the gym and decided I’d go for it in October. I can run a 5k… but now I want to run it fast. So I pushed myself to 6.7 mph on the ole treadmill and felt it the next day.
- I thought long and hard about my writing and how I’ve neglected it. It’s been too long since I’ve written anything for publication somewhere other than this blog. You can’t be a writer if you don’t write, and I intend to work on that. I’m also trying to flesh out my ideas for a potential lengthy, nonfiction pursuit. For now, that’s top secret.
- I did less productive things like drink boxed wine in front of Sarah Silverman’s Jesus is Magic (and envisioned her blurbing my eventual book and us becoming best friends) and the movie 13 Going on 30. I got a little choked up and didn’t admonish myself for getting teary-eyed during a silly movie.
- I imagined living on my own and liking it. It’s only been a few days of solitude, but I’m not uncomfortable with it just being me and my thoughts. In fact, I think that every now and then, it’s absolutely necessary.