Sunday, February 7, 2010

Alone...

"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone." ~Orson Welles

Alone time is something I need just as much as air, or water, or food. It nourishes me in a way that nothing else can and without this nourishment, I start to shut down. I need moments where my thoughts and actions are my own, without interruption. I have always been this way. As a child I would spend hours in my room alone, allowing myself to play out a multitude of imaginative scenarios. It was my way of exploring the world, its possibilities, and what they meant to me. I think that alone time allows me that same internal process today; a means of breaking down what's going on in my life and how I feel about it all.
I enjoy my own company {sometimes I think too much!}. It both worries me and pleases me that I could most likely spend days on end alone in my house without running out of things to do or feeling the need to connect with another human being. Perhaps I only feel that way because in my house, I am almost never alone. But I often dream of days where it would be only me, free to move about at my own whimsy.
These days, my alone time comes in very tiny, and sometimes obscure pockets. Some days, I'm lucky enough to get outside for a while with my camera, or spend some time up in my craft room. But most days, I must utilize every minute alone that I can muster...showers, trips to the grocery store, the ten minutes while my husband bathes the kids. On really long, tough days, these moments may happen while watching a sunset during dinner making...with chaos all around me. Wherever, whenever, and however short, these moments are crucial to my emotional balance and well being. These moments are so important to me that I have been known to become quite irate when naps are not taken and I get totally deprived of any amount "me time" in the day. But I know that having some moments of solitude and peace make me a better mommy; a better person overall.
I use these moments, however infrequent, to check in; to see where I am emotionally, what in the balance needs tweaking, and what direction I need to head next. Without them, I am truly lost. In these moments I read, I write, I scour the Internet for inspiration, I take or process pictures, I craft, I pray...sometimes I just breathe. I love it.


So, tell me...how do you carve out minutes for you and what's your favorite way to spend them?

12 comments:

Kris's Kaptured Moments February 7, 2010 at 6:21 PM  

wow, this must be the season as a mommy. I can so completely relate to your words. I know I take time each day to walk by myself to think, pray, and just enjoy the silence of being alone. I always feel revived when I return home.. thank you for sharing your words and images..

brittany February 7, 2010 at 7:18 PM  

I feel like you looked inside me and plucked out my feelings and wrote it all down eloquently. Like I'm looking in a mirror but with words on the other side and it startled me for a half a second to see myself looking back.

only it was you.

wierd.

Jamie February 7, 2010 at 7:48 PM  

Like you, I've always needed my alone time - and for now my lifestyle means that alone time is fairly easy to come by. I can't help by wonder, if I'm lucky enough some day to have a family, if I'll handle letting some of that time go with as much grace as you have.

Corinne February 7, 2010 at 8:15 PM  

I could have written this - I feel the exact same way. I love my alone time. So so much. It makes me a better person, a better mama.
I wish I knew how to carve time out a little better... thanks for the reminder to do so :)

Amy February 7, 2010 at 8:44 PM  

I am selfishly passionate about my alone time and I am not afraid to admit it. Since becoming a full-time at home mama alone time and regular time out with friends is essential to my mental health. I just love your writing Maegan, so pretty and this is so true.Mine comes out much more like: "Give mommy her alone time before she snaps..." : )

Jenn February 7, 2010 at 8:55 PM  

I'm a lot like you, honestly. I find that I need time to myself to think and to play. My favorite moments are those when I'm out on my own, wandering through the streets of town or a path through the woods with my camera or a notebook and pencil. Inspiration rarely finds me when life is bustling about around me. I hope you find more moments to yourself in your crazy, hectic days.

Johnna Riddell February 7, 2010 at 10:07 PM  

...first, this made me tear up, I struggle with the "me time" concept. It's rare that even when I'm doing something I enjoy, like flickr or ultimately photography, that I don't have atleast one child sitting at the computer with me or riding on my hip or my stroller. Infact, the day of the big snow was the first day I took a walk alone since.... before Rooster was born. man.
Sometimes I crave the thought of an afternoon to myself. I have it all planned in my head, being all alone and quiet. And then I start to get overwhelmed with guilt. So I end up on the internet at 2 in the morning, trying to get some me time that way... it's tiring.
But your blog has helped me to see that taking a moment, everyday, means putting things in perspective... and breathing.
Thank you... you have no idea... just thank you.

mamayou February 8, 2010 at 8:25 AM  

You are touching a spot for all of us with this post! Alone time is so very precious and hard to come by with young ones needing us 24/7. How do I recharge? Walks, and with my camera of course! :), sometimes music in my ears. This does SO much for me. Being home alone is great too:)

Kathleen February 8, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

What a beautiful expression, Maegan. One of the most surprising and fulfilling parts of our transition has been the increase in alone-time for all of us. Tessa's and Calder's rooms have gone from big playroom to small sanctuaries; I have school mornings to myself; Ari - well, he has the commute, right? It's made our time together even better.

heidiherrera February 8, 2010 at 12:18 PM  

I completely understand where you are coming from. I have often felt I'm the type of person who really needs her alone time. Similarly, as a child it was my favorite time, reading, writing, playing. Most days I fit my alone time in at the computer, processing photos and reading blogs, or I get lost in a recipe I'm making, sometimes a simple soak in the tub or time spent knitting. It is enough for now. Though, I really need to find a way to fit in more! I miss it.

Laura King February 9, 2010 at 3:24 PM  

Oh love, just what we were talking about (emailing about :) the other weekend and you put it so perfectly! Last week I found such pleasure in filling little vases with flowers ($5 carnations from the grocery) and hand washing some vintage pieces. It surprised me really and I thought THIS is some of the good stuff! :) Once again I've been stopped before I could get to THE magazine post! :) Here I go...........

TheAcornGarden February 12, 2010 at 10:09 AM  

Hi,
What a beautiful blog you have! Well done! I so identified with the needing "alone time". When my husband and I moved in together some 23 years ago, we both made lists of things that bugged us or that we needed as two people living together. His included "Don't hang undergarments in the bathroom", and some other stuff, but my list was a single line: "I need alone time...regularly" He is the only person in the world that I never tire of being with, but I still need my alone time, where I don't have to be "on" thinking about other peoples needs or wants...just me time. He understands that and respects it. I know I'm blessed for that.