I haven’t had much quality alone time lately. It sounds funny to say, as Michael is in camp now, I work part-time, and have a lot of physical time in the week to have quality solitude. But I don’t use that time. Why? Real life beckons. Housework, errands, writing work, gardening, friends I want to catch up with. These are all important and have their place, but somewhere along the line I lost my ability to make that time for me to read, to walk, to think. Even meditation and yoga have been challenging for me lately in a way they haven’t before due to my mind being cluttered with stuff to do and worries. I have come to the point now, when I see what I have been missing. And, as usual, Michael was the one to show it to me.
“I need to be alone Mommy. I need to go swing. I need to stim.”
Michael in all his eight years is wiser than me. He realizes when he needs solitude to decompress, to reflect, to find balance again. I am starting to use this kind of language with myself now. I need to meditate. I need to sit outside in the yard. I need to write my fiction or poetry. I need to exercise. The last one I sorely need to get back to, and I will. The point is all these activities bring me back to me, back to balance and who I am at the core. That’s what I am reminding Michael of now. He is going through a lot of anxiety. Reminding him about tools to calm down, is showing me that I need to use my own tools. Solitude is one that is crucial for all of us. Human beings are social creatures not meant to live alone, but we all need moments of quiet uninterrupted time to replenish our bodies and minds. This alone time heals the physical and emotional strains of life.
What are your favorite activities to do when alone? Remember, it doesn’t need to be complicated. Reading a good book, taking a walk, sitting in nature, whatever works for you. It’s as important to encourage your children to find peace in being alone from time to time, as it is for you to embrace your solitude time. It can be five or ten minutes a day. As long as you make the time, you’ll have energy and a positive outlook that no one can take away from you. Until next time.