My husband just took our son and one of his friends to see Avatar at a theater about 30 minutes away from our home. Add an hour's round-trip travel time to the approximately two hour, 40-minute movie time and you (I) get: nearly four hours alone in my own home.
Sorry. I got excited there for a bit. This might not seem like a big deal to you, but my husband and I both work from home, so the times when I can be alone in my own home are few and far between. I cherish them. I love the quiet, or, alternately, the sound of the music “I” chose, or the TV show/movie I ALONE decided to watch.
Does this sound selfish? Too bad.
For an introvert like myself, alone time is not just a want—it’s a need. I need time to think, time to daydream, time to plan, or read or just do nothing with no one to distract me. That’s why I get up before everyone else on weekdays—so I have at least a few minutes wherein I am all on my own. Time alone recharges me and is utterly essential to my well-being.
Many times I have to leave my house to be alone. I visit the barn or go to the library, or sometimes just step outside to our lanai. It helps. But sometimes, I just like to wander through my domain and bask in the glory that is Solitude. Somehow, when someone else is in the house, his thoughts and desires and opinions get all tangled up with mine. I find I can think more clearly when no one is home.
I don’t think I’d enjoy living alone all the time, however. (I never have lived alone. I moved from my childhood home, to a dorm, to an apartment with a roommate, to an apartment with my husband.) I might enjoy it for a while—the sheer luxury of taking no one else’s needs or opinions into account. But eventually the weight of all the decision-making would get to me. And I would miss having someone to tell things to or consult with. I love my family and we mostly have a happy and peaceful home. I am profoundly grateful for this.
So what shall I do with this bonanza of alone time? What I’ve been trying to do all week: Get quiet with myself. Make some plans for the year; brainstorm some personal and professional goals. Maybe do a “vision board” as described by Christine Kane, or treat myself to a viewing of the new episode of What Not to Wear. But best of all, I can make those choices unencumbered by anyone else’s idea of what I “should” be doing, and unconcerned that I am neglecting anyone else’s needs. For the next four hours, my needs take center stage. So, if you’ll excuse me, I have some recharging to do.