Solitude

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?

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