I have always needed time alone. This surprises a lot of people because I’m a total chatterbox and am very seldom caught doing anything on my own. But alone time is how I decompress. And sometimes this is needed every few weeks, and sometimes, every few days.
Growing up, I decompressed in one of three ways:
* On weeknights, I would grab a notebook and a regular book and perch myself on my parent’s front porch. I would read and write until it got dark, occasionally breaking to say hi to the neighbours who walked by with their dogs.
* Mostly on weekends in the summer, I would head outside into my parent’s detached sunroom where we strung up a hammock. I’d bring out my quilt, my pillow and my book and spend countless hours on that thing. I would read, then fall asleep, wake up and read some more.
* I was almost nocturnal as a teenager. I loved staying up late with a book, and Norah Jones playing lightly on my CD player. I could stay up all night like this.
Then I moved out, and finding that time was harder. When I had my apartment with my roommate, there was no great outdoors to go sit and read, or take some deep breaths of fresh air. I would sit in my little room with a mug of coffee and read late into the evening.
When my fiancé and I moved to Toronto, this became even harder. We do live in a house (someone else’s, but still) with a backyard, but we are in middle of a very busy, family neighbourhood. Last summer, I brought out a beer, a book and a lawn chair and became subject to many odd and inquiring looks as my neighbours passed by with their kids, dogs or just walking home alone. Not exactly that peaceful escape I was hoping for. Also, I live with my fiancé, so we are normally home at the same time and generally end up in the same room.
So sometimes, when I really need it, I will barricade myself in the bedroom with alone time supplies: baked goods, coffee, my laptop, a stack of books I’m contemplating reading, my book journal, a regular notebook, and my pjs. I light a candle that smells like something homey (to me, that is a wood fire – it’s a soy candle, so don’t worry, no trees were hurt during the making of this alone time). Then, I sit.
The past two weeks have been difficult for myself, and for the people in my life, for varying reasons. I haven’t been able to write much, read much, or do much of anything. My head has been elsewhere the majority of the time. So today, on my day off, I am sitting in bed with a total of 19 books, notebooks and my coffee and I plan to decompress. Yesterday, I cleaned and I baked (two things that NEED to come before decompressing) and today, I plan to read an entire book. I’m hoping that tomorrow when I get up, I’ll feel a little more like myself, and a little more put together. Until then, I am going to read and drink too much coffee for the remaining hours of my afternoon.
I would love to hear how you guys decompress and if you are a needer of alone time, like me. Hope you are all having a great start to your week!