Beautiful Chaos

Finding adventure in the everyday

Panic in the quiet

February4

Sometimes in the rare hour that I’m alone, I mean completely alone-everyone sleeping or gone or a combination of those, I panic. My mind races with the ten thousand things I could do with this rare time. Be productive? Nap? Read? Write? Exercise? A little of each just crammed into a short time frame?

And sometimes the shear volume of possibilities and the fact that these moments are so rare paralyzes me. I freeze. The pressure of maximizing every last drop of this sweet precious time consumes me and I can’t do any of them. I feel all jittery inside and I can’t find my way out. One time I called my mom and she distracted me from the stress (stress of freedom?) enough that I could just do something while we chatted and then the pressure was gone for the rest of my time.

Well, I had a totally surprising piece of that time just the other day. The day somehow worked out where ALL of the kids were napping at the same time. Usually Spunky doesn’t nap, but this was a day she needed it and she fell asleep with no problems. I found myself with an undetermined amount of time TOTALLY ALONE!

I didn’t panic about the options this time. I knew what I wanted to do: write. ┬áBut, I also had to get the chicken in the crockpot for dinner, switch laundry, and I made some hot chocolate to drink while I typed away. I was working like crazy trying to get those things done before the baby woke up (he was the first asleep by a half hour), when I realized something. I was frantically trying to make things perfect so I could relax and enjoy my alone time. But I already WAS alone. I took a deep breath and decided to enjoy the moments getting a few things done in the quiet.

I got them done, sat down at the computer and Big Baby woke up. I was so grateful for a different perspective while I was getting a few things done so that I would not stumble over the lost time but instead be grateful for the 15 minutes I did have. I’m hopeful to be able to respond the same way in the future.

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What do you do with YOUR precious alone time? How do you handle unmet expectations with it?

posted under Motherhood

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