Confession: I allow myself little time alone. It’s not because I can’t handle time by myself. I am an extrovert’s extrovert but even I need moments to myself. It’s not that I can’t face the idea of being with my own thoughts; I wrangle my thoughts minute to minute every day. I just can’t handle the idea of time alone because there are so many things I want to be doing.
Time alone is often the result of something falling through and rather than enjoy the temporary idleness, I immediately fill the space with something in the queue of things to think or do or make or write. I can’t help myself.
This morning, after hosting my nephews, my plan was to send my girls to religious school, send the nephews home with my husband who was going out for the day and to exercise, shower quickly and race through the day. I made the grocery list and prepped the veggies to cook later and put away the dishes on the counter while the kids ate the breakfast I prepped last night. And even as I write this, I’m exhausted by my own inability to relax on a lazy Sunday morning.
But, my stomach is upset. I don’t feel like exercising. I just don’t want to. So I bagged it and hung with my nephews for a little while longer and then they departed and Easy Listening Radio is playing in the kitchen and the dishwasher is running and I nuked my coffee and sat down at the kitchen table unable to focus my thoughts. I’m alone for two hours. I hadn’t planned on this.
And my first instinct is to break things out of the cabinets and tackle the one thing I meant to make all week (granola). And then I unwrap the Sunday paper and see the article above the fold in the New York Times Real Estate section is about preschool and I want to read it. And I stare paralyzed at the clutter on the counters and the remnants of entertaining four kids last night and I want to fly from one spot to another tidying up. The gravitational pull of my bed is strong, though. And the thought of a hot shower totally uninterrupted also sounds like the right way to start this Sunday.
And so I did the most logical thing.
I sat down and wrote my way out of this momentary confusion. And now I’ll spell check and publish and likely take a nap.