Solitude is fleeting, and precious - Kathleen Celmins

Solitude is fleeting, and precious

When Brent flew Clara to Phoenix so she could hang out with her grandparents instead of being stuck in her carseat for three days straight, I knew I’d be alone.

But my day was so busy — packed to the brim, really — that it didn’t really hit me until I came home at 9pm that night.

And didn’t have to apologize to a dog who was being neglected. Because he wasn’t! He’s happily at sleepaway dog camp just up the street.

It was the first time that I had been all alone, in my house, since before we got Stanley. And he’ll be five in August.

I’d come home from my last writing workshop at Prompt (although everyone else gets to have another three weeks!), and that always fuels my creativity, so I wasn’t ready for bed.

I talked to Brent on my way home, but we hung up before I went in, which cemented the solitude of myself in the house.

Now, since I didn’t get home until 9pm, I didn’t have a heck of a lot of time to scratch my head and wonder what to do.

But I did realize that I am very comfortable being by myself.

That little detail surprised me, because I adore being around people, and the people in my house are the people I like best. Plus, if you read anything about extroverts, you know that they are recharged when they’re in crowds. And I would definitely consider myself an extrovert.

I remember when I was living in Cindy’s basement apartment (which is where I lived when I met Brent). I was alone a lot. I didn’t love it, but I knew that one day, I would look back on that cozy little space and remember with fondness that there was a time I was able to cook precisely what I wanted to eat, without having to take anyone else’s preferences into consideration. That there was a time I could, without checking in with anyone, decide to do something other than coming straight home from work. That I could work late into the evening without so much as a tsk tsk from anyone.

Life is a never ending series of tradeoffs, friends.

Trading loneliness for a partner who’s needs I have to consider for every decision. Trading the idea of making any decision I want for the decision that is best for my family. Trading the ability to wear the same pair of jeans two days in a row for a sticky little squeaker who demands to be picked “UP” every four minutes.

So, the next morning, yesterday morning, even though my to-do list was longer than my arm, I turned on Spotify and played Chopin. I poured myself some coffee, which I made myself (Brent makes our coffee in the morning).

I picked up my laptop, but didn’t immediately ask for noise.

I wanted to write a to-do list, but couldn’t get past “pack everything you see and also your office” so I waited on that.

Enjoyed the moment for what it was.

Then wrote.

I loved it so much. It recharged me.

It was fleeting, of course. How much “me time” does one actually get the day before the movers arrive?

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