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.