August 29, 2012

not lonely, just alone...

i was reading this sweet post by my blog friend (and rarely real life friend, when i visit my long lost hometown that i wish was my current hometown- denver) emily.  her sweet ramona is just a year old and emily has already noticed that sweet baby girl needs her alone time.  and it made me think.  it made me think a lot.  and because i am selfish and self centered it mostly made me think about myself.

i have always needed alone time.  i was very blessed to have a mother that recognized this in me and always provided my a place that i go and be by myself.  a place i could close the door to the rest of the world and just be with me.  at a very young age, i imagine my mom discovered this about me similarly to how emily did.  and she let me have my space.  as i grew older, and started being surrounded by more and more and people, and particularly a little brother who didn't have the same needs (and instead liked, and still likes, to be surrounded by people and is sad when he is not).  she tried to balance our needs, and would sometimes have to ask me to play with my brother when i did not want to.  but when it would become too much, she would tell jesse that he needed to go play in his room for a little while.  you could find me in my room by myself after an afternoon spent with family or friends.  on the playground, i would sometimes be by myself hiding in the plastic tube tunnel.  i was not lonely, just alone.

as i got older that need for alone time always existed, perhaps it even grew.  there would be days when i simply could not go to school, days when i knew i needed to stay home and just be.  and my mom obliged.  she would call me in sick... and i would stay home as everyone else rushed out the door to face their companions, their minions, their responsibilities.  i would stay behind, and take a bath, and read a book, and maybe even clean my room.  i would think, and pray, and reflect.  i would find peace in these moments, clarity.

i loved living by myself when i did.  i was free to do and think as i please.  i was free to sing and talk to myself without judgement, and i had a clear head and resounding peace.  being by myself was not just a frivolity, it was not just a desire, it was something i needed to keep my sanity, something i needed to stay grounded.  and living by myself i was always in control of my alone time.  when i needed people, i would join my friends and family, and when i needed to be alone all i needed to do was head home.  i was alone, but never lonely.

when matthew and i started dating, there were always days i would have to myself.  football season, i would have the whole weekend.  soccer seasons, he would be at practice and games.  and sometimes he liked to just be with his friends. 

but when we got married i was suddenly never alone.  i never had a moment when i could shut the door behind me and just be.  i was never alone.  sometimes lonely, but never alone.  matthew has never been alone his whole life.  he always shared his room, he always loved being surrounded by friends and activities.  and he didn't always understadn why i wouldn't want to be disturbed behind a closed door.

and then we had a baby.  and i love being with sweet asher boy more than anything else in the world.  and sacrificing my time with him to be alone seemed frivolous and needy.  i was finding myself stressed, burnt out, unable to think clearly.  i knew a day to myself would make myself feel better, but between school and work and bills and a family, who had time for such things.  i was starting to feel like i would never be alone again.

sure, there were times i was by myself at the grocery store, or getting my hair done, or driving between daycare... that wasn't quite what i needed.  but sometimes it is hard to ask your family that you love to leave the house for the day; particularly when your family does not understand the need to be alone.

last week matthew started talking about going to the air show... i hate going to the air show.  so as he and asher were getting more excited, i asked if he wouldn't mind if i stayed home.  he didn't.  so i packed the boys a bag, kissed them goodbye, and for the first time in multiple years i had a series of hours to myself at home.

i thought and prayed and sat empty minded.  i made myself chocolate covered strawberries, and watched dawson's creek on netflix (don't judge).  i folded laundry, and stayed in my pj's.  i did nothing of any importance.  i just was.  i was able to just be.  by myself.  for hours.  and i basked in it.  i felt clarity, i felt peace, i felt like me for just a moment.

and i realized, it isn't frivolous or needy to ask to be by myself for a few hours.  i realized it is more than a desire or a want or longing.  being alone is something i need for my sanity, for my emotional self.  in order to be the best wife, and mother, and person, i can be.  i need to be alone.  to recharge, to think, to pray, to do nothing at all...

it is okay to be by yourself.  it is okay to be alone.  and doing so doesn't mean that i am a bad mother, or an unloving wife, it means i am doing something that my soul needs to thrive. so in the months and years to come, i will work on asking for the moments when i need them.  and i am guessing that not only i will be grateful for these moments of solitude, but my husband and son will too.  not just for their time together, but because momma will be able to keep herself from turning into a crazy person. 

4 comments:

  1. you and i are so much alike. my mom did the same thing with me when i was in school. we called them "mental health days" and i got two (sometimes more) each year and could take them whenever i wanted and she would drop everything and we'd just spend a quiet day together. i plan on doing that with ramona as well.

    your day alone sounds wonderful and i hope you get more hours like that in your life.

    thanks for the shout-out. love you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous11:50

    Even Jesus needed time to himself to spend in prayer and meditation. Mark 6:45-46 "Immediately Jesus told his followers to get into the boat and go ahead of him to Bethsaida across the lake. He stayed there to send the people home. After sending them away, he went into the hills to pray." and when he went to the garden before being crucified. You are in good company!!!! -- Love, your mom :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:14

    Popping over from Donna's page to say Happy Birthday Asher! and Happy Anniversary-of-Asher's-Birth Day to you & Matthew!

    Rachel in ND

    ReplyDelete
  4. sometimes i miss time to myself. you know i have never been in this house without brandon here. i forgot what it feels like to be here and allowed to do whatever i want w/o answering to anyone else. tell matt to pick up brandon too and we can both sit in our empty houses, missing our sweet boys, but enjoying the solidarity of a few minutes all alone.

    ReplyDelete