What do you do when you’re by yourself? I’m not talking about the time when hubby’s at work and the kids are in school. I mean three days. All to myself.
The family and I had planned for weeks to drive to Sherman, TX and visit Bob’s sister and mom this weekend. And wouldn’t you know, two days before the trip, our cat Snowflake gets sick. Someone had to stay home and keep an eye on her, give her an antibiotic twice a day. I volunteered.
Solitude. I used to thrive on it. I used to love being by myself. And we writers, who doesn’t relish the thought of three days of peace and quiet? But my family couldn’t have been to Beaumont before I paused and wondered, Now what do I do? Have I lost the art of entertaining myself?
I started off housecleaning like a dervish, whipping around the house with the vacuum, redding up the kitchen (that’s a Pittsburgh word), throwing in loads of laundry, changing the bed linens. Oh, and – this is huge – I took all Eric’s unused unneeded leftover medical equipment OUT of my back hall and piled it in the garage. No more shower chair half-blocking the path to the laundry room. No more cannulas, syringes, or feeding bags taking up room in the hall cupboard. I can’t tell you how cathartic, truly, it was to remove that stuff from my house. But I can’t just throw it away. Surely, someone can use it. If anyone knows of anyone who can use a long list of medical supplies, maybe a missionary who can send it to a third world country, please let me know. Cause already I’m ready to get the stuff out of my garage.
I called a friend who wasn’t home. Took a walk. Read the newspaper. Why make dinner? I snacked my way through the evening. Later, I lay on the couch and watched “Pretty Woman,” sipping beer and nibbling pretzels. I stayed up late.
Then slept in. I might have gone to church, but I had already told friends at church that the Dilmores would be out of town this weekend. Had I gone to church, I’d have had to explain about my sick cat. And I didn’t feel like talking about my sick cat. So I took a bike ride instead and worshipped God in His handmade sanctuary (as opposed to a manmade sanctuary). Which for me at times can be even more spiritual. I prayed and sang, appreciated the glorious morning, and generally communed.
After that, it was more of the same in the house, but this day, I tackled clutter and – no kidding -- the boys’ rooms. Any parent of teenagers can appreciate the magnitude of this feat. They won’t recognize the place when they get back.
And on the third day, I finally actually got a teeny bit of writing done.
So tell me. What do you do when you’re by yourself?