One day last week, I found myself uncharacteristically alone, for the whole day. The hubby was in meetings all day, and those were scheduled to stretch all the way through dinner. He works out of the house, so we see a lot of one another, which is great, but leads to very little alone time. The girl child is off in Spain, nannying for a Spanish family. So once I dropped the boy off at the 7:28 train for his internship in the city, I really barely spoke to another human, except for the check-out clerk at Whole Foods, and that was only to say "thanks." When I say uncharacteristically, I really mean it, we live in a small town, in a small house and we are all often here. Between family, friends and neighbors, I can't even begin to try to figure out when the last time I'd spent any extended time with just me.
In general that is a good thing. I'm pretty extroverted and curious, and so I love to hear what is going on with other people, what they think about the news of the day, what they are reading, what's their middle name? Pretty much all of it. I love debate and discussion and gossip. I love talking and I love listening. But it had been an emotional couple weeks with huge ups and downs (several literary agents asked to see pages of my novel, my bio-mom is dying of brain cancer, type of huge) and I was exhausted from all the excitement and sadness. I didn't know I needed a day alone. But the stars lined up so that was what I was going to get.
I got up in the morning and got the boy to the train, then walked the dog, got the laundry in, tidied up a bit, went to the grocery store, and was done.....Just done. Finished with everything I had to do on the list, and not wanting to add more. I wasn't about to start fiddling with my novel, after having just sent it out. I wasn't in the mood to tackle any of the deep cleaning, organizing jobs that I promise I will get to someday. I didn't even want to talk to any of my friends on Facebook (and those of you reading this on Facebook know exactly how exceedingly rare that is). I didn't even feel like going shopping (and now my lifelong friends are wondering if perhaps I was ill).
So I wrote sit in the hammock and read on the bottom of my to do list and grabbed the thriller that had been sitting on the coffee table waiting for me for two weeks. I got out of my world and in to the author's. Totally lost myself. And it was so much fun! By the time I climbed out of the hammock and out of the book I was refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on whatever was coming my way.
This is my Independence Day message - once in a while declare independence from it all. Take the day off. Hang around with yourself. And enjoy. (Also today please leave the fireworks to the professionals, I know you guys, you aren't trustworthy with gunpowder.) Even if you don't think you need the time alone, (maybe especially if you think you don't need the time alone) you really do. Oh, and buy more books.