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Entry date: 4-4-2022 - Alone time is good - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

I was reading a post from my Uncle Paul yesterday that talked about things we need to do to be happy. I agreed with all of it, especially one point that said: find time for yourself each day. Yesterday, I thought I mentioned that I thought only children must be a bit more creative than those who have siblings. I believe this to be true and I also believe, after thinking about it, that only children are probably better at making sure they have time for themselves once they reach adulthood.

Rhondi sometimes talks about being jealous of how I find time to do the things I want to do. At first, when she would make a comment about this, I didn’t really get what she meant or how it was something she might admire. I thought she was making a dig at me or calling me selfish. I realize now that making time for yourself is something a lot of people just don’t know how to do.

I’m a very ritualistic person. I tend to do the same things each day in the same order, if possible. Maybe this makes me a bit (or a lot) OCD, but maybe it is just a way that I make time for myself. Lately I start my day by reading a little news, doing wordle, and checking in on the war game I play before I get ready for my walk.

The process of getting ready has also become a routine. I pee, wash my face, brush my teeth, and sometimes I put my contacts in if it is already light outside when I leave for the walk. Before I do this, I put Luna (my daughter Ashton’s dog) outside so she can use the “facilities.” After I am done in the bathroom, I quietly slip back into the bedroom (if Rhondi isn’t going on the walk) and get dressed.

Being a creature of habit, I typically where whatever t-shirt I was wearing before bed, throw on some socks, my knee brace (If my right knee is sore), sweatpants or shorts (depending on the weather), and then my shoes. Rhondi talked me into getting some nice, lightweight hiking shoes so I put them on and double knot them because it sucks breaking your momentum to stop and tie your shoes. Lesson learned.

I let Luna back in and get her in her harness. I take a nice big drink of water, grab my phone and keys, and head out the door. Most days, my friend Tom is waiting outside, and we walk and talk. It’s a great way to start the day. We talk about all manner of things, and it gets my brain and body going. A lot of the time we are joined by our wives and those 45 minutes help me feel connected to the world.

Well, at least the world I want to be part of daily.

When we get back, I get ready for work. I won’t get into the details of my bathroom process, but unless I’m running late, I’m in no hurry. There is scrabble to play online, more news to read, and important “me” time. I’ve gotten really used to the quiet that overtakes our house in the early morning. Usually no one else is up yet and I can just be quiet and alone.

Considering that I lead a noisy life in a lot of ways, it is no surprise to me as I write this that I really value the quiet time. I don’t mind long drives, doing things by myself, and being alone with my thoughts. Of course, I’m now letting all of you into my thoughts and quiet time. It’s okay, I suppose.

Once I get to work, quiet time is over, but I do steal moments to myself when I can. Sometimes I slip away, emotionally, for example when the students are working on a project or assignment that I don’t need to be directly involved in. It’s only five or ten minutes here and there, and not every day, but it helps recharge the batteries. At lunch time, I eat in my room alone and enjoy 25-30 minutes of quiet.

It’s nice to get the occasional visitor, but I need to get that downtime to be ready for the afternoon. By the time we start dismissing students at 2:45pm, I’m ready for my quiet, but necessarily because I need “me” time. I’m ready for quiet because 25-30 eight-year-old children generate a lot of energy.

I wish everyone could get the alone time they need. I also wish everyone was comfortable with their own thoughts. Sometimes it is so hard to be alone with our own brain. It wants to talk about things we don’t want to talk about. I’ve become particularly skilled at distracting my brain, but it still usually wins. I know lots of people who I think would concur with this sentiment.

Creating a blog is a good way of dealing with these things.

For those who need to stick to a schedule, I would encourage you to schedule some time for yourself and do something you want to do, if you can, but do things alone. Go to the store alone. Go to a movie alone. Take a long walk (also one of the things on Uncle Paul’s list). Watch an episode of a show you love or get creative and make something.

I haven’t been to a movie alone in a while. I think the last time I went to the theater by myself was to see Joker. Rhondi took Liam and Teresa one day when I was doing something else, so I took advantage of a half day at school and went to see it. I was one of about four people in the theater and each of the others were alone, too. What a strange movie to see by yourself. Luckily, I could talk to the peeps at home when I got back about what I had just witnessed.

This was a weird thing to write about, but I’m glad I did it.

See you tomorrow.

Luna is a good walking companion. I took this on Saturday, 4-2-22 on our way home.

Random songs about being alone or just kinda pretty.

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