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Alone Time

The prompt for today seems to suit my mood: Do you enjoy being alone? What do you do when you’re by yourself?

I’m a stay-at-home-mom with three kids in elementary and middle school. They are gone, Monday through Friday, from 7:45am til 2:30/3pm. I’m on my own for 6.5 hours. Most days, I love it. I don’t hibernate in my house, trust me, so I guess that means I’m not truly alone every weekday. I go to the gym, run errands, occasionally have lunch or coffee with friends. You’d think with that much time on my hands, my house would be spotless, every meal would be a gourmet, home-cooked affair, laundry would never sit on the couch or in the dryer waiting to be sorted and put away, and I would have written three our four books (as opposed to the big fat zero I’m currently sitting on).

I don’t mind being alone. I’m capable of going to lunch, dinner, a movie, or shopping all by myself. I’m fine with my own company. I read a lot when I’m alone. Or I watch the shows my husband won’t watch and which are probably kid-inappropriate (this doesn’t happen often). I tend to need noise. The only time being alone really bothers me is if it’s completely quiet. Random, since once the kids are home, I crave quiet. I do talk to the animals a lot. Just call me the crazy cat lady.

I used to be terrified of being alone. I was afraid to walk in any place by  myself. It’s not necessarily confidence that enables me to do it. It grew out of necessity. Now I kind of enjoy it. I don’t have to consult anyone which restaurant to go to or movie to see. When I’m tired, I don’t have to exert myself to focus on a conversation. If I want to sit and read blogs all day, no one is here to drag me away.

I needed alone time today, desperately. We had a ridiculously awful morning. Little Man…ouch…he must be in a post-birthday funk. He was angry and lashing out from the moment his eyes opened this morning. We struggled through bathing, dressing, eating, medicating. He was nearly late to school. By the time we were in the drop-off loop, he was in tears and still being mean to me. I was frustrated, drained, and even angry myself. He said he wanted to isolate himself. I was pretty close to granting him his wish.While he seems to be settling down at school, we are having a rough go at home.

I wanted to come home and curl up in my chair to recover. Instead, I headed to the gym, put my headphones in, angry rap music on, and had the best non-running workout I’ve had in three weeks. Now I’m  home, alone. There is baseball on the television (for noise, and because baseball is one of my happy places). I’m contemplating another cup of coffee, and thinking about what I’m going to eat for lunch. At some point, I’ll have to haul myself away from this computer and go to the store to get stuff for dinner tonight, and there’s a conference call on the agenda in an hour, but for now, I’m going to revel in my alone time, do what I want to do, and just breath. Four hours til the beasties are home and the madness begins again.

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