My mother tells me that when I was small, on days when I was sick with a high fever or a stomach bug, or in my case usually tonsillitis, that even when I felt awful, I would drag myself out of bed and settle somewhere near a family member. She says I didn’t like too much quiet or to be alone for too long.
These days I think about her observation for lots of reasons. I live alone, sort of (my daughters’ ancient cat Lucy is here too, following me from room to room, meowing for food at predictable intervals). Now that my children are in college it is awfully quiet most of the time at home.
Weekdays are busy, long, and full of interactions with children and colleagues. Weekday evenings are usually short as I’m not much of a night owl. The quiet and alone are not terribly noticeable, and as an introvert that time is often necessary for me to recharge and feel ready for the next full day at school.
And on some evenings during the week I have plans- dinner with friends or some other event to attend.
Usually my weekends fill up. The thought of a weekend with no plans leaves me feeling uneasy. Remember, I don’t like to be alone for too long. I stay busy with exercise classes, walking with friends, dinner or a movie out, Sunday church. Sometimes I try to squeeze in so much that I’m barely home and the laundry goes unfolded and the vacuuming is put off.
But this weekend was different. There has been a lot of quiet and alone. And rain. Nonstop rain. And fog. I’ve been home and leaned into the quiet and alone time. I came home late morning yesterday after exercising and haven’t left the house since. Built a fire yesterday afternoon. Napped, read an entire book, made banana bread. Watched in frustration as UVA lost a basketball game last night they shouldn’t have lost. It’s Sunday morning and I’m still home. Today I’ll clean my closet, pay some bills, listen to my book on Audible (A Gentleman in Moscow), make a quiche and maybe watch some of the Olympics.
It’s been a quiet and alone weekend. I’m celebrating it. I think my mother would be surprised.
Thank you Ruth Ayres for providing encouragement and space each week for us to pause and celebrate.