Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The blessed sound of.....


Before I became a mother, I don't think I was aware of how important quiet time and solitude are to me. I think people's needs for this vary, and I didn't know until more recently how vital it is to my well being.

Before Helena, back in my working days in San Diego, I never really lacked alone time. I worked a lot, so did Patrick, and although there were certainly times that, due to our divergent schedules, I didn't get enough Patrick time, it was rare that I didn't get enough me time.

Today, after 3 weeks of my family passing around colds and the stomach flu (and let me tell you, when 3 people have to fight for one toilot, it's not pretty!), I'm keenly aware of how badly I need to be alone for a bit.

It, this need for alone time, that is, comes on something like a virus. First, I start to feel vaguly off, uncomfortable in my own skin. Next it progresses to a general crabbiness, for which I feel guilty because often my husband and daughter are being delightful and doing nothing to warrent my grump. Finally, if let go too far without antidote, it progesses into all out bitchiness witchiness, sometimes in the form of things that I say and ways that I behave, often in just the things in my head that I'm trying hard not to say, because I already regret thinking them.

The cure for this is always simple, and yet sometimes seemingly impossible. Some alone time, totally quiet, no conversations, no one to answer to. Sometimes I can acheive this by staying up a bit late or getting up a bit early. But when illness stikes our household, my daughter knows when I'm awake and seems always to wake up about 5 minutes after me.

So I have to get more creative. Today I'm at work...alone! There are 1000 others things I would rather do while alone than be at work. But it's quiet. It's mid January and the promised down season seems finally to have arrived. The phone isn't ringing, there are no emails to be answered, and my boss is blissfully, finally, over the stomach flu too and out at a meeting. So I'm going to work alone and enjoy these blissfully quiet moments.

I haven't made any New Year's resolutions per say, but a goal I have is to somehow carve out enough quiet time that I don't catch that nasty virus anyone more. A little emotional perventative care for me goes a long way!