Personally, I was always good at keeping busy; growing up in an area that is in constant motion and forever changing kept me quite busy. Not only did I adore my social life all throughout grade school (and college and now haha), I was a part of the school’s band, city’s soccer league, school’s volleyball team, and girl scouts troop. My time was always occupied with something. With that being said, this “stay busy or you might get bored” lifestyle transitioned quite nicely into my adulthood.
When I chose to go away for college to force change in my life, I ended up in an area very opposite of the one I grew up in. I am currently still in the same area as my alma mater. I live in an area that although is more populated than the city I am from, it is hardly in motion. The people that are from here usually stay here and raise their families here. Aside from technology, change hardly happens here.
This ended up being the perfect and most necessary place for me to end up! It without a doubt contributed to the woman I am today. This area has shown me how to do nothing, how to do nothing ALONE, and how to ENJOY doing nothing, alone. 🙂
I learned how to enjoy and absorb the moment at hand and how to resist spending every present moment planning for a future moment that I JUST CANNOT wait to get here. While thinking ahead can be beneficial, if it is the only thing we are doing, time may just get so far ahead that all we are left with are vague memories of how we ended up where we are.
“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves.” ― Jack Kornfield
Still not with me?
Ok, here is one LAST example, if you aren’t with me then… there is just no hope for you!!! 🙂 Hardy har-har, I’m kidding. Moving along…
Take out your imagination caps
So, picture a guy. This is a guy that your friend constantly RAVES about. She just thinks you would be the perfect couple and cannot wait for you to meet him. He’s extremely good looking, to you and what you have witnessed from a distance, and on paper, one could assume he is made just for you.
So finally, you guys have a very brief meeting, one that only allows for an introduction. From that point on you always hang out. Usually participating in activities that do not allow for much talking or time to REALLY get to know each other.
But my goodness he is FINE, and you could always get to the details later (details: his view on marriage, relationship with God, raising children, his long-term goals, etc.).
You have only seen a few random outbursts that you didn’t like. Not many and we all have our bad days, right? Plus you’ve had plenty of good times doing “fun stuff,” in groups, with friends, and even your family knows each other?
After some time it, “makes sense” that you guys move on to the next step. Yep, he puts a ring on it. You get married, have kids the whole shebang. After some time you notice a lot of unexplained actions on his part. You become suspicious, unsure of what he’s going to do next, and you feel like you just don’t get him anymore.
But giving the history above, I’m sure you foreshadowed this ending.
Now , in the story above replace Mr. “Perfect” with yourself.
In doing that, you will see this is exactly what happens when we do not allow for time alone with ourselves nor deep conversations with ourselves.
We end up in relationships with people (friends/husband/wives/family) and cannot explain why our inconsistent behavior and expectations are never met. Why we become unsure of how we really feel in a disagreement, and just let our spouses either walk all over us, or walk on out of our lives without any explanation. But how can one set a standard for a spouse when one is unsure of their own standards? How can one love when one has not spent quality alone time loving their selves? How can one expect respect, when one has hardly know what it means to respect their self? How can one expect their spouse to know who they are if one does not spend time getting to know their self?
Ahhh, the importance of spending time with yourself as arrived.
We need time to think and figure out exactly what we want, want we want to do and who we are meant to be in this life. We need time to do this without the opinions, thoughts, or ideas of others on what THEY THINK we should be.
We need time LISTEN. To get close to God and listen to what He’s calling us to do. Time to come to the conclusions on our own so that win or lose, we have the reassurance of know we felt that way on our own. We need quite time to find what we really enjoy doing (not what we enjoy doing with our girls, spouse or children). We need time to find what we find entertaining, special, and loving without the ideas of someone else. Your friend always said you were a great painter, so you became a painter, but after spending time alone, you realized how much you enjoy working with numbers and building, man all this time you were meant to be an architect and just really good a painting; or vice versa.
With all of that said, whether you are single, married, separated or divorced, it is time that you accept this challenge, commit to some time alone, and get to discovering you.
Here are some things I enjoy that you can try out!
1. Movies (by far the easiest and most satisfying activity I have done by myself) It’s just a jump start, though. You are by yourself…but your mind is so captivated by the picture being shown in front of you, you almost forget you’re by yourself. The dark room and “do not talk” rule helps too 🙂
2. Read a book! Here are some incredible books that got me started on my self discovery journey
- When a Woman Meets Jesus
- Power Thoughts
- The Confident Woman
- Single, Married, Separated and Life After Divorce
3. Journal, just go to a local park, beach, book store or coffee shop… bring your journal, a good book, lap top (only if Facebook and all other social media sites are OFF) and write down your anything! Things that bothered you that week, things that you loved that week, found funny, or start blogging like us! 🙂
4. Brunch, personally I haven’t had the gut to do dinner by myself yet… but boy do I love brunch. Who does not like to be allowed breakfast with a yummy vitamin C drink 🙂
5. Take a trip! Pack your bags (eh or maybe just ONE bag) and leave your worries behind. No fear, you worries will be right where you left them when you return, so don’t feel bad temporarily leaving them, unless it’s your kids, that you MAY not leave behind unless they are and. Even if it’s just a short road trip to a place that will allow you peace, quiet and tranquility. GO! And let’s leave behind the excuses to why you cannot make this happen as well 🙂
6. Work Out I love the feeling I have after leaving a good workout at the gym. It allows me to focus only on me and my ability to push myself through something difficult. Once I do, I feel so accomplished and refreshed all at the same time!
Please share your “me” time stories and experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org . We would love to add to our “me” time list of things to do!
-Stay Polished, Pistil