Saturday, October 11, 2008

Alone Time

This morning I had a few things on my calendar. I had lunch with my two best friends from high school and then went to a baby shower afterward. Jon took the girls to his mother's house for a piano lesson and some family time.

They were still gone when I got home. I had about three hours here at the house to myself. I know so many of you out there are turning shades of green with envy. ALONE TIME!!! No kids crawling on you or fighting with each other or crying. What would it be like to have three whole hours to do whatever you want. 

This was the first time I had been alone for any significant time period since Camille died. I remember when the Relief Society presidency of my ward came to see me in the hospital and asked what they could do. One of the very few answers I gave them was, "I do not want to be left alone."

Until today, I hadn't been. Oh I have been alone in my car going places, but home alone for more than a few minutes ... no. See Jon works from home so either he or the kids is nearly always here with me.

Today I discovered I no longer enjoy alone time. The silence that used to be so golden was paralyzing to me. There was plenty I could have done with this time. The house was a mess. I should have cleaned. The laundry needed folding. I could have written something. I could have organized any number of disorganized places in my house. I could worked on scrapbooks or played the piano or worked out. I could even have taken a bath or gone to a book store and bought a great book to start reading. But I didn't. I couldn't. 

I was entirely overwhelmed by the emptiness. Instead I turned on the television to make there be noise and distract me. My mind ... it thinks too much in unhelpful directions when I am alone. Even car rides by myself are still difficult. I nearly always end up near tears when I arrive at my destination. It is easier to keep my mind in the present when I am in the presence of others. I wonder how long this will last? I wonder when I will be comfortable being alone again. I wonder if I will ever value alone time like I used to.

As soon as my family got home I was released from this captivity of quietness. I was able to clean the house and bake some cookies and help Annie practice violin and wrap presents with Sabrina and write something here. Doesn't it seem against logic that I should be so much more productive with children present than alone? I guess for now people, my family in particular, are the catalyst I need to activate the me who is living for today.

May those of you who need it find some alone time. I know at some seasons of life it is critical. And, for now, may my home be continually filled with the messes and noises of loved ones.