Time Alone

February 27, 2008 at 3:45 pm Leave a comment

Tomorrow morning, just as the sun is peeking over the mountains, I will be taking off for a weekend in the city. Since it’s a seven-hour drive, I have extended the weekend from Thursday to Monday. It is a wonderful feeling to pack my guitar and other necessities into the car, bid the children and husband farewell, then get settled in the driver’s seat, turn up the music, and go. For nearly five days, I am a free woman.

A dear friend stayed at my house for four days, then extended her visit for another few days in order to have some quiet time at a nearby monastery. The solitude is meant to help her sort things out and make some important decisions about her life. Yesterday she asked if she could ride with me, as she’d planned to take the train back to the city the same day. It was very difficult for me, but I had to refuse.

How do I explain to someone who lives alone, how jealous I am of my time alone? (I am married and have two young teenagers.) The drive is more than a means of travelling from one point to another. The minute I close the car door, my escape has begun. I can do as I please, think, listen to music, talk to myself, sing, and even be quiet for seven whole uninterrupted hours! No one can make demands on me. If the cell phone rings, the music is generally so loud that I don’t hear it.

It is not easy to say “No” to someone you really care about, someone who has been there for your ups and downs, who listens to your sad tale and doesn’t tell you that she’s already heard it five times before.  It does seem a bit shameful to be so selfish, but since I seldom go to the city, it really is a special journey. Besides, I have a lot on my mind these days.

I also need some time alone to sort my thoughts and make decisions. Eventually I’ll have things figured out and be more settled, not starving for solitude, and I will be happy to have someone in the car with me for that long drive. But not tomorrow!

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Entry filed under: friends, life, solitude, Soul Food. Tags: , , , .

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