I am spending this quiet, gloomy Saturday alone. And it's perfect. Now this is not to say that the company I currently keep is boring or annoying or overrated, no. But he was called into work today, and I find myself alone with an attractively vacant apartment full of neglected journals, dirty dishes and a checkbook I haven't balanced in weeks; it is glorious. To any other person, the list I have just created may sound like a bunch of chores, but to me they are challenges that I happily accept.
I know I have posted before about making time for yourself in a relationship or even in your own busy life. This morning alone has given me the time and space to do exactly that. I was able to sleep in, journal with a mug of coffee in hand (a practice that has become foreign to me since taking a new full-time job two months ago), take a long shower, and embrace the pile of dirty dishes with a smile... all before noon! I know I am forever preaching about alone time, but when you live with someone, be it a significant other or an entire family, this point often becomes void. Both my boyfriend and I struggle to find things to do on our own because when you live in a tiny one bedroom apartment, it becomes exactly that- a struggle.
Lately, I have become so wrapped up in the "daily grind," I'm too tired to invest any quality time in myself. It is sleep, work, eat, repeat times five. Then the weekends become a time devoted to chores- doing laundry, washing dishes, grocery shopping. It never ends. Where is the alone time? Where is the relaxation? Sure, there is time to watch television and hang out with friends, but it often becomes lost in the other things that have to get done before Monday hits and work begins for the five day stretch. We never relax. We never allow ourselves to have a break, to take a vacation. We live in a society that is all work and no play. For me, this means I give up my writing, my creativity. It becomes stifled in the lists I make of chores to do and people to see. It remains dormant, trying to grab my attention on my rides to work alone in the car or in the shower when I stop to think for a few minutes. I push my creative thoughts aside, forgetting the lines of poetry I had been writing or the idea for a blog post I had been formulating, and instead I merely walk through the front door of the office or get out of the shower, dry off and plop myself in front of the television.
But we have to acknowledge our creative process, have to recognize what it desperately is trying to tell us, and do it. Often on my rides to work I think "I would love to go for a long walk right now while the sun is still low in the sky and the snow is sparkling," but I never get up early enough to do so. Often when I'm on the couch watching television or standing at the sink tackling the infamous pile of dishes, I think of the beginning to a new poem or remember a dream I wanted to journal about, but I don't make the effort to stop what I'm doing and write. I'm working on finding the motivation to accomplish the tasks my inner creative child is pleading with me to tackle. Several minutes ago as I was finishing up my shower, I had the thought for this blog post. I made myself come straight to the computer afterwards and start typing; and believe me, putting on my sweatpants and watching another episode of Parenthood sounded a lot better after my fleeting thoughts of writing.
So I urge you to listen. Listen to your thoughts, your dreams, the words your subconscious often repeats to you on a daily basis, and do them. I know that it is a lot easier said than done. Nine times out of ten, I choose to sit on the couch and pick up the remote instead of sitting at the desk and picking up the pen. But I wrote in my journal for the first time this year this morning, and it made me happy. It made me miss the look and feel of my words pressed against the page, glinting ever so slightly between the light blue lines. It made me miss the moment of peace I often have with the warmth of my mug between my fingers, sipping my morning cup of coffee, and just writing, just being. Often simplicity is underrated in our busy lives; I ask you not to let it be.