I arrived to my hot yoga class forty-five minutes early yesterday morning. I’d misread the holiday schedule, and showed up to find an empty parking lot and a locked studio door. I probably could’ve gone back home, as it’s only a five minute drive each way, but I felt myself longing for some solitude. So I stayed in my car, opened the doors, and wrote this post while wrapped in the bliss of fresh air, Summer sunshine, and a holiday Monday.
Solitude is not something I get a lot of; with a young family, busy job, and great friends, alone time is rare. For many of you, I’m sure that’s also the case. But, as I’m learning, solitude is something I absolutely need to be my best self. I’d say I’m an extroverted introvert, if that’s even a thing, and what really refreshes and resets me is time alone. I see this trait in my son as well, and cater to and protect his downtime daily. For me, sometimes it’s just a few deep breaths and a brief moment with my thoughts before I feel regrouped and ready to tackle the next task. Yesterday, it meant a 75-minute yoga class and a half hour in my quiet car. I needed it yesterday. I could feel it, I was craving it.
I’d met up with a dear friend of mine the night before, for a movie and then a walk, and we talked about exactly this: alone time and self-discovery and reflection. She’s very good at self-improvement and introspection, and I always look to her lead in those areas. Her recent discovery is that of a 24-hour solo retreat; that is, 24 hours away from home, alone. No to-do lists or timelines or schedules or expectations. This “solo retreat” is a foreign concept to me, something I hadn’t considered, and something I’ve never done in the 7.5 years that I’ve been a parent. She certainly piqued my interest.
My husband and I had a similar conversation awhile ago, regarding my need for a daily dose of solitude. “That’s one of the things I love about running,” I told him, “it gives me alone time to think.” To think, and breathe, and dream. My 24-hour retreat would involve lots of sleep, lots of writing, lots of food, and lots of running.
What would yours look like?