Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When was the last time you met yourself?

New blog post on The Bargain Hunter.  Do you like being alone sometimes?  

When was the last time you met yourself?

I love being alone.

I love the sound of the house settling around me, while I sit in silence either reading or writing. I must have been born with the self-reliance gene times 10, because if I don’t get my alone time I start to climb the walls. I have friends who, knowing they have alone time coming up, will start making calls to fill up those spaces - those pockets of time where the silence will meet them. 

They can’t face it.

For me, it’s where I meet myself and say, “Missy, there you are. How have you been?” Too often we forget who we are, what we believe in, or what we used to be. We fill up our lives doing so much for others, or being so involved in our friend’s lives that we don’t look inside. I like who I’ve evolved into – I’ve met myself a lot over the years and know who I am. Although, without those moments of silence and alone time, I never would have. 

My husband has learned how much I enjoy tending to myself. He’s respectful of what I need, just as I know that he needs to hang out with friends a certain amount of his free time. He’s learned to appreciate time alone as well, whereas I’ve also learned to like being in a group setting. We meet in the middle somewhere. What gets me is when I express to people how much I love being alone, and they laugh or say, “You’re nuts. That’s so boring.”

I’m not saying I need to be alone forever. I’m saying I need to stay in touch with myself so that I’m not bending over backwards constantly for others – never to rejuvenate who Missy is. I need a day or two filled with the sound of my own breathing – not the breathing of others down my back. When was the last time you took a day and just went where YOU wanted to go? When you didn’t have to run here or there for the kids, or pick up something for the spouse? Can you name that time? I bet if you had a whole day to yourself you might not know where you want to spend it. 

I found myself alone in a local town a few weeks ago, with several hours to spare as I waited on a repair. I walked myself several blocks and started meandering. I dined with myself at a restaurant I’ve always wanted to try. Swirling the crusty bread around in the olive oil with herbs, I met myself where I was. People don’t stare at you when you dine alone, it’s a feeling we produce ourselves. Dining alone is the most freeing feeling in the world. After I was sated and filled with luscious homemade pot stickers and salad, I walked across the street to a bookstore. I browsed the aisles, not a hurry or care pressing me, and I simply browsed. Finding a tome that I had been wanting, I paid and headed down the street to a local bakery. I picked up a few decadent items and headed outside to sit on a bench, where I proceeded to eat an entire cupcake. It was delicious, as was the sky as I gazed at it on my own time.

When was the last time you met yourself? Took time for yourself? Tended and mended yourself without feeling guilty? We are mothers, wives, lovers, and friends – but most of all we are ourselves. Take one day and reconnect. You might be surprised to see who you are.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The spaces in-between

Originally found on my blog on The Holmes County Bargain Hunter. 

The spaces in-between

There are spaces in a house that no one thinks about.  That awkward nook going up the stairs, the corner with the rocking chair that we throw coats or gym bags on, and that space between the washer and dryer that leads to the bathroom.  We pass through these spaces every day and don’t give them a thought.  Yet these places are where the most information passes.  These places are where I meet my kids.

What I mean are those soft landing pads – the ones that absorb tears and make me pause and give my thoughts and concerns to whatever is going on in their lives.  The kitchen counters are a well-made place to sit on and talk until the wee hours.  I’ve had many a child and their friend talk to me about the cares of the world from this perch.  Three, sometimes four young bodies draped on my counters beside the crock full of utensils and spatulas, discussing the weight of their day.  

I savor these moments.

The carpets in our home hold many secrets too.  The plush slightly shag carpet in the purple room upstairs is home to a bevy of mysteries and told thoughts and plans.  It has been pumped full of blood, sweat and tears in the many years we have lived here.  It held suitcases packed full ready to leave for an uncertain future, and the excited thoughts poured out while packing them.  The carpet supported another beautiful soul as she worked her way back from the abyss of torn muscles, pounding that carpet every night as she built herself up to be well again.  The edge of the bed on each little dormer built into that room was a place for me to sit and hear.  Just to listen and hear – sometimes no more was needed.

Our front porch is made to be sat upon and enjoyed, albeit with cracked deck chairs and deep comfy cushions.  Discussions here, feel velvet in the cover of night.  I’ve sat with a child in my lap here hearing confessions and turbulence, as we went on to solve and pursue the wonders of the world with our conversations.  The porch floor has been a sturdy surface to sit upon and reflect, while sharing. 

If I have to name a spot, though, that’s held the most and deepest conversation it would have to be our pumpkin-colored bathroom.  In it is a small red stool which has held me captive while each one of my children has poured themselves and their cares out to me.  I can’t pinpoint why this bathroom is so conducive to rivers of emotion.  Its smooth care-worn walls hold tears and joys from years back.  It’s heard shy confessions of new loves, and the tears that have come from heartbreak.  It’s heard dreams and plans for new starts, and sinking feelings of hopelessness.  We’ve solved the entire world in this bathroom, and its walls vibrate with information.

There are spaces in a home we don’t think about every day.  We move through them and the veil of our lives, living out the ordinary with candor and passion.  These spaces in our home thrum with who we are.  They hold our hurts and fears, our joys and pain.  I will meet my children in these spaces until they inhabit my home no longer.  And when they are gone, the echoes of those words spoken will remain in the in-between.