I just finished a meeting and I have another in a couple of hours. Both are closer to my house than my office. As a result, I now find myself sitting in my living room, sprawled on the couch, laptop ensconced where it belongs (on said lap), dog sitting at my feet and…that’s it. Nobody is home. Just the dog and me.
From time to time there are few things as sweet as being home alone. I’m not talking about the kid(s) being asleep and the spouse out. There are still potential responsibilities in that scenario. I’m talking about being home…alone. The silence is golden.
In the (wonderful) chaos that is the day-to-day life of a parent, we rarely ever get to just hang out in our own houses. We rarely have that opportunity to take a long time-out for ourselves, in the quiet confines of our most comfortable surroundings. Sure, we might get a day away for that all-important “me time,” but it almost never happens at home.
I’m one of those people who absolutely loves working at home. I find that I can get a day’s worth of work done in a fraction of the time. The lack of distractions and ultimate comfort help drive the creative juices. And, truth be told, the best work I do is usually overnight. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night (or not be able to go to sleep at all) and just start writing or working. More often than not, this is when my true inspiration comes.
Of course, there are those days when the weeks start to run together and the combination of family, friends, work and whatever starts to truly take a toll. As a result, sitting here today at home isn’t bringing much work. But, it’s certainly bringing a sense of peace, which is nice. Sitting on this couch and gazing out the window reminds me to seek serenity. Heck, even the dog has left me to my solitude. I guess he could tell that I need some space. Dogs are so intuitive that way.
I think we sometimes put so much pressure on ourselves to be the “perfect parents.” We think that wanting time alone – totally alone – is considered a bad thing. It’s a great thing. I’ll be a much better parent because of little breaks like this one. They are sort of like “life catnaps.” Without them, we suffer greatly. Technology, by the way, has played a huge role in destroying these moments. My cell phone is buzzing with email as I type. Leave me alone! (I should give my phone to my dog as a chew toy.)
What’s worse is that I think it’s almost a sign of weakness in our society to admit that you’re burnt. We talk about being overscheduled as a burden, but we wear it as a badge. “Oh, I’m just so fried with this, that, the other and the 10 things that little Jimmy is doing. Gotta run! Can’t miss the sign-ups for his underwater piñata designing class. He’s just so creative.”
The dog is back, but he’s kind enough to just lie down at my feet and enjoy his own peace and quiet. He doesn’t mind sleeping all day; he’d just rather do it next to a human.
I want desperately to just close my eyes for a minute, but I know that I’ll sleep right through my meeting. Oh crap…my meeting. If only I could blow it off. But…life beckons. Time to get back into the fast lane.