I had just walked out of my hotel and into the hot windy weather. For a moment I closed my eyes to relish the feel of heat and wind on my face. It had been a rough couple of days and I was feeling none too positive. Somehow, the wind cleansed away the creeping dark mood I’d been carrying. A feeling of peace came over me.
As I now sit and write with soft music playing and the barista the only other person in the building, I remember what I all too often forget:
I need time alone.
Time where I am actually without another person anywhere near me. I don’t mean just being in one room of my house while everyone else is in a different room. I actually need the house to myself. I need to be able to walk outside and just breath in the air. I need that freedom to just sit and do nothing for a bit without someone speaking to me or asking anything of me. Even if they present and are quiet, it’s not the same thing.
I forget that this alone time is necessary. I forget until that moment when that creeping angst crawls into my heart and spreads throughout my body. By that time I am frustrated with everyone and everything. It is not pretty. This is when I don’t like myself very much.
We learn so much about ourselves by being alone and that can be scary. It takes courage to face and accept yourself.
As a writer, I prefer to write alone in the quiet. It is in these moments where I can put honest, even ugly, words down. I know that at some point they will turn into a thing of beauty but in that moment, I am content. I am in the moment.
Being alone can take on many forms. Getting outside and taking a walk is healthy. Sitting in a quiet coffee shop people watching or simply reading the paper is enough. Sometimes just a few moments are all you need.
So, the challenge is to find time to be alone, whether it’s for 5 minutes or 5 hours or anywhere in between.
I dare you to stop in that park you pass on your way home and just listen to the wind in the trees.
Or pop into that bookstore you’ve been dying to visit but never found the time to just browse. You don’t have to buy, it’s okay to just look.
Or while you are waiting for your kid to get done with practice. Spend some time away from the field. It doesn’t take long. Just a few minutes to remember who you are and to be in the moment.
Challenge – Find some time to be alone this week and let go, if only a few minutes, of the rest of your responsibilities. You’ll be glad you did.
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