With my husband and kids away for the weekend, I had three whole days to myself. As a busy wife and mother, time like that is like finding $20 in an old purse… but even better.
I usually get some take out and hunker down to binge watch the latest series I have missed. But there are times when I want to experience something. This time it was the symphony performing Mozart’s Requiem Mass. Choral church music isn’t everyone’s “thing,” but I enjoy hearing it. I booked a ticket for one and waited excitedly for the big night to arrive.
After the performance, I heard the people behind me make a snarky comment about me being alone. I looked at them and smiled. They weren’t in on my little secret that I purposely volunteered to arrive at the performance by myself. I was able to listen to almost two hours of Mozart music with no interruption, and I was able to experience some of the most beautiful music in the world just for me.
This isn’t the first time that I boldly went somewhere alone. I love going to art museums by myself. I saw Michelangelo’s David when I was traveling to Florence for a weekend on my own. One of the most beautiful experiences of my life was walking into the hall where David is. I gasped in awe at the beauty before me. I had the time alone to savor the entire experience.
Another experience alone was listening to Fado music alone in a restaurant in Lisbon, Portugal. I wore a beautiful red dress and sat proudly at a table by myself, listening to some of the most haunting melodies I have ever heard.
I often wonder if those experiences would have been the same if I were chasing my boys around, trying to get them to understand the awe of a moment like that? Would the experience have been the same if I were chatting with my girlfriends or my husband? Those experiences shared with another likely would not have had the same meaning to me. The beautiful Fado music would have been a background to conversations instead of having my full attention for the evening. While seeing David with others, the awe would have been lost amidst a lewd joke or the rush to get to another museum before closing.
Part of the self-care we need is finding the time to be alone. We spend so much of our time at work, tending to our families. Then when we are all tapped out from the craziness from the day, our spouses and partners want a bit of our time too. Sometimes it becomes too much, and we need a break. Being alone with your thoughts along with an opportunity to do something for yourself is a gift. Your soul craves that time for you to experience something that will fill you up so that you can give of yourself more freely and fully.
Maybe not everyone can get to a symphony or see David up close this weekend. That’s okay. Here are my suggestions for creating some alone time for you:
1) Download a piece of music you’ve always wanted to hear in concert.
Find a place where you can listen to it by yourself, and just allow yourself to feel it. What emotions does it stir within you? What does the music make you long for?
2) Try the class you’ve always wanted to try.
Have you always wondered what they do in a Kundalini yoga class? Find one and go! You can also find wine tasting classes, cooking classes, and there’s even a cheese pairing class in our neighborhood. Look around and take a class that opens a door to a new dimension of you.
3) Take some time to spend alone in nature… and leave your headphones at home.
Time amongst the trees, water, and birds will give you an opportunity to hear your own thoughts. Hear the sounds of nature, feel the breeze, and just be open to any thoughts that drift into your mind.
It is okay to be alone sometimes. We crave that time so that we can be of better service to those who rely on us. The next time you have 30 minutes, a day or even a weekend to yourself, plan to carve some of that time out so you can do something for you. Your soul will thank you.