Appreciating alone, for a little while
It is the middle of a Saturday afternoon. The house is quiet. I am alone. This is not normal. Alone is uncommon for me. My morning shower is often interrupted by someone needing their hair combed, clean socks or lunch money. Alone on a Saturday a...
It is the middle of a Saturday afternoon. The house is quiet. I am alone.
This is not normal. Alone is uncommon for me. My morning shower is often interrupted by someone needing their hair combed, clean socks or lunch money. Alone on a Saturday afternoon is unheard of.
It is luxurious.
I have a newfound freedom not typically available to me, and it feels odd in a pleasurable sort of way. A happy odd - like giving yourself a high-five or laughing loudly in an empty forest where no one but you can hear.
I am free to turn the TV to any station I want. I can nap on any bed or couch I choose. I can play my Carly Simon CD and no one will protest. I can take an unencumbered, uninterrupted shower. I can eat ice cream right out of the carton without anyone knowing that I am breaking my own rule.
I can use the phone or the computer and no one will tell me to hurry up. I can polish my fingernails and know with certainty that they will have time to dry. I can sit and do absolutely nothing and no one will see it as unusual.
Things stay put in their proper place. No one steals the Scotch tape to secure the blanket ends of a quilted fort to the coffee table. Pencils remain in the drawer, not in someone's coat pocket. The bag of Snicker's bars I bought yesterday sits in the pantry, unopened, without any empty wrappers stashed under the bed. Couch pillows rest in their place, not on the floor. No one pesters the cat or attempts to ride the dog. All the toothpaste tubes have their covers screwed on. The beds are made. No one is hiding in the pantry eating cookies.
There is no one here asking me to make them lunch. Nobody to leave Legos all over the living room floor. I don't have to remind anyone to brush their teeth or wash their hands. There is no one needing my help with new math or to quiz on spelling words. No one is wrestling in the living room. There is no fighting; no yelling; no jumping on the beds; no playing; no laughter.
Even the air is still and has a different feel to it. I take a deep breath and try to absorb the serenity surrounding me. I should be filled with calm, but the contrast to what I am used to is a little disconcerting. The silence feels empty. I turn on the TV just to hear some sound.
I am free to watch any DVD of my choosing. The remote is mine. It feels foreign and a little cold in my grasp. I pick my movie, look down at the remote and realize that I don't know how to switch the TV over to the DVD mode; the kids usually do that for me.
So, I start to scan the channels. This, too, feels weird. I am not used to scanning; I watch whatever they watch. I find it hard to choose a show. Tedious actually. I turn the TV off.
But then it is quiet again. Deafeningly quiet. Clamorously silent. The TV goes back on. I head for my computer. I have work to do.
It is the middle of a Saturday afternoon. The house is quiet. I am alone and free to do my work in peace. I check my watch. Just another hour and they'll be home. I smile.
Jill Pertler is a syndicated columnist and award winning freelance writer working with graphic designer Nikki Willgohs to provide writing and design and other marketing services to businesses and individuals. You can check out their Web site at http://marketing-by-design.home.mchsi.com/ or e-mail Jill at firstname.lastname@example.org .