I REALLY like to spend time by myself, I promise…
Being divorced, my kids go to their dad every second weekend (mostly), which means that I have every other weekend off. Initially, this was quite an adjustment and I often found myself feeling sorry for myself on a Friday evening. But nowadays, I look forward to spending some time with me, myself and I.
Don’t get me wrong, I love company. I enjoy spending time with my friends. I enjoy visiting friends, entertaining friends and I see myself generally as a very social person. I get along well with most people and can enjoy a party as much as the next person.
But, I also love being by myself. Me-time. Some of the things I really enjoy doing by myself are:-
- Reading. I have loved reading since I was small. I still get excited when I walk into a library or a book store. I can vanish and spend hours perusing books, without getting bored. And reading is the type of thing that you generally do by yourself.I had a boyfriend who read to me, and that was really something special, but sometimes I missed my books very much. I cannot imagine myself ever being in a relationship with a non-reader. I would always worry that the person would feel neglected when I have my nose buried in a book and at some stage they would complain and want to ‘do something’, whilst I would be quite happy reading. Of course, I know there should be a balance and I am able to put my book away in the interest of having some human interaction, but it should be a give and take, not so?
- Going to the movies. A lot of my friends are shocked when they ask me where I am on a Friday evening to discover that I am at the movies by myself. I can audibly hear them voicing ‘ag shame’. But really, I do enjoy going to the movies by myself! Of course it is something nice to do with a friend or a partner, and I do enjoy sharing this experience, but if you think about it, the bulk of the time is spent sitting in a dark theatre, silently enjoying the make believe world playing off on the big screen.And the advantage is that I do not have to argue with someone else about which movie to go and see, or if I made the recommendation about whether the other person is enjoying the movie!
- Lazing around in my pyjamas. I love a lazy weekend morning, where I can sleep until I wake up, read a bit in bed, slop around the house in my slippers, make breakfast and then drink coffee in front of the TV whilst catching up on some cooking programmes I missed during the week. If I have nothing specifically to do on a Saturday morning, you can easily find me in my pyjamas at lunchtime. I probably won’t answer the front door though!
- Having a night in. My favourite thing to do after a hectic work week is to go home on a Friday evening, cook something yummy that doesn’t take too long (like ravioli, with pesto, sundried tomatoes and pan fried prosciutto), pour myself a big glass of wine and park out in front of the TV, watching a nice movie. Something that I missed on the big screen, or an old movie that I want to watch again, or something that I don’t think the kids would appreciate.
- Indulging myself in a facial or hair treatment. There is nothing to make me feel like a queen than to treat myself to a facial at my favourite spa, with a hair wash and blow afterwards, or to go to my hair dresser/friend of the last 15 years for a two hour colour, treatment and blow wave session. As I get older, I appreciate these little moments of self indulgence more and more, and always imagine myself how I exit from these places looking radiant and oh-a-little-bit-younger.
- Writing. This is a newer hobby of mine, but I love spending time, writing something, fine tuning it, picking the perfect pictures and reading some blogs that I follow. I often don’t have time to do this during the week, so it is lovely being able to catch up on weekends.
Of course I get times when I am lonely and my general rule of thumb is that I like to be by myself by choice and not because I have nobody to go to or nothing to do. There is nothing as lonely as sitting at home when you are in the mood to go out and have a party. But I always have a friend or two that I can phone or text and go and visit, so these times are few and far in between. And often, my weekends are so fully packed, that I really treasure the times when I am not busy.
If I know I will be busy on a Saturday evening and a Sunday, then I feel deprived if I don’t get to spend at least a Friday evening or Saturday morning by myself!
So, honestly…next time you find out I am spending an evening by myself, don’t feel sorry for me, ask me what wine I am drinking or what movie I am watching…!