Right before New Years, I spent a night by myself in a local hotel. It was maybe my favorite holiday gift!
I took my old, trusty laptop, my brand new, empty calendar for 2014, a slew of magazines and some new books that I received for Christmas.
I also took my copy of Voluntary Simplicity. I re-read it every year and it inspires me to simplify my life all over again!
Oh, you have no idea how much I enjoyed myself. I'm someone who needs a lot of time alone and I never get bored with myself. I ordered dinner in and watched a movie while I ate. No one interrupted me or tried to take my food or spilled a drink or sat in my lap or cried in my ear. When the movie finished, I literally did a dance around the room because I was so relaxed and happy. I played Candy Crush without anyone getting annoyed with me. I even watched an hour of trashy TV without comments from my husband. I brushed my teeth and flossed for nearly 15 minutes. Are you a flosser? I've always loved flossing my teeth and it's one of those things that often gets pushed to the back burner when the kids are around. (What does that say about my life when flossing my teeth was a highlight? Ha!) Look, I even hung my jacket!
I stayed up late reading but remained in bed until about 10:30 the next morning. Can you imagine? What a luxury! I begged for a later check-out time and they gave it to me. I was so happy!
I thought a lot about saying good-bye to 2013 and looked ahead to 2014. I planned our Spring Break vacation. I started looking through all my photos from 2013 to do a highlights post but it made me really down (I still miss my Hubbell so fiercely!). I closed my photo files.
My sweet grandmother gave me this Wildflowers guide so I went back through my photos from Big Meadows and started to ID some of my favorite flowers that I had photographed. I really enjoyed this and it made me realize that I'm already excited about going back there this summer.
During my stay two things really stuck out to me and caught me off guard:
1. The daily clutter that exists in our house is stressful for me. Each time I walked into this hotel room, I was immediately overcome by how clean and clutter-free it was and it relaxed me. Clara in particular is a messy child and, when she's home, I could do nothing else but clean and it wouldn't help much. It made me kind of sad.
2. TIME MOVES SO SLOWLY when my kids aren't around. Being alone made me realize how high maintenance my children are. I think that's one downside of being a stay-at-home parent. Sophie used to be so independent but I can't really say that for her anymore. It seems to me these days that she can't even get a cup of water by herself. I know that partially stems from jealousy issues with her sister. And Clara is Mommy obsessed. I mean OBSESSED!!!!!!!! I am literally drowning in my children lately and I feel suffocated. You know the saying "it takes a village"? Well, I agree, it does. The problem is that my village consists of one person.....me. This also made me sad.
SO I guess you could say I realized pretty quickly that things need to seriously change in 2014. I'm not sure what those changes will be yet but I'm working on it. I really needed this one night alone to feel a little like myself again, even if only for 24 hours. Thank you, Alain.
Before leaving for home, I did ask Alain to bring the girls over for a swim.
The girls were ecstatic and had a blast! It was a nice way to end my stay.