Sunday, August 31, 2014

Weekend of solitude

Pete gave me one of my favorite gifts again this weekend -- time away to be by myself.  It wasn't completely alone-time because I did spend some of the weekend with each of my sisters and their families, but for the large majority of the time, I was on my own.  And I loved it.

I won't lie - -probably the best parts were getting to eat a whole bag of peanut M&M's all by myself and not having to share with anyone, and unpacking my little bag of things and being able to put my stuff wherever I wanted with no fear that someone was going to walk by and take it/break it/step on it/lick it.  It was also awesome having complete control over my schedule, deciding on my own when I was going to wake up at night or in the morning without anyone else doing that for me.

Yes, complete control over my stuff and my time... that makes this control-freak happy.  And it feels so foreign these days!

I spent a lot of the time on my parents' porch doing this:

... writing a talk I'm giving at the women's retreat in a couple weeks.  I loved doing it so much my hands were shaking most of the time.... or maybe that was from all the peanut M&M's.

I also read a tiny book by Henri Nouwen which was quite appropriate, entitled, "Out of Solitude."  Here are some of my favorite parts:

“I want to reflect on this lonely place in our lives…  Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our lives are in danger.  Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.  Somewhere we know that without a lonely place our actions quickly become empty gestures.”

"In our solitude, we can slowly unmask the illusion of our possessiveness and discover in the center of our own self that we are not what we can conquer, but what is given to us.  In our solitude we can listen to the voice of him who spoke to us before we could speak a word, who healed us before we could make any gesture to help, who set us free long before we could free others, and who loved us long before we could give love to anyone.  It is in this solitude that we discover that being is more important than having, and that we are worth more than the result of our efforts….

In solitude we become aware that our worth is not the same as our usefulness.”

I highly recommend a weekend alone to anyone, especially someone who has a 24-7 job like a mom.  Get away, breathe again, and remember who you are!

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