I’ve been in the process of learning a subtle lesson for the past few years. But recently, it has been anything but subtle.
The lesson has been in how to take care of myself when silence and alone time abound. And I’m not talking about the “heading to the spa” kind of alone time. I’m talking about the kind of alone time you have when your husband travels regularly.
And lately, my alone time has been expanded by us moving a state away.
I wish I could say I learned quickly how to spend this time well and with a good attitude. In experiencing more time alone than I wanted, I have spent too many hours staring mindlessly into a TV. Or even mindlessly eating in front of the TV. I’ve spent too many hours feeling sorry for myself, that I’m alone and have to stay home so my young children can get their rest. Or passively being angry with my husband when we talk on the phone, so he feels guilty for being away.
No, I haven’t learned this art of being alone very fast or beautifully.
In all honesty, being alone has made me extremely uncomfortable. It has made me realize my need to fill a room with noise because silence can be all too deafening.
Now that we have recently moved, and my husband’s travel continues, I have more time with my kids. More alone time at night as we slowly develop a “normal” here.
I remind myself that this being alone thing is a true art. I have to cultivate it and learn to enjoy and appreciate it. In this season of life, I desire to treat myself well and use my time wisely and healthfully. I can use this time to just be myself.
Perhaps you are single or live alone. Perhaps your spouse works the night shift. Perhaps your husband travels too. However you are experiencing being alone, remember it might take some time to learn the art.
I’m still learning with every passing quiet evening. Here is a list of things I remember in order to be kind to myself while my husband’s away, while we transition.
While I’m Alone, I can:
- Light a candle
- Turn on some quiet jazz music (or favorite feel-good music)
- Work on a project I enjoy (searching for or organizing recipes, organizing family photos, etc.)
- Make myself a lovely dinner I can enjoy in quiet when the kids are asleep.
- Enjoy a glass of wine
- Read a good book
- Spend time writing
- Read my Bible for encouragement
- Be thankful for my husband and how God provides for us
- Have a phone date with a friend I rarely get to see
- Do an art project I enjoy
- Take a relaxing bath or shower
- Paint my nails
- Watch a “feel good” movie
- Go to bed early for some extra rest
Have you had to learn the art of being alone too? What are some of your favorite things to do to be kind to yourself when you’re alone?
© 2012 Standing on Peace