Take the plunge – hang out with yourself

Do you ever spend time alone? Do you cherish the thought of an evening by yourself or does it scare you to be by yourself with your thoughts?

For anyone who knows me, it is safe to say that we all know that I am an extrovert. I love being with friends and meeting new people, I get a thrill presenting in front of groups and I have no problem leading an event or activity. After leaving my first job, my colleagues bestowed upon me my very own microphone – so you get the picture. 😉

But I also love me time. In fact, I’ve come to appreciate just how important it is for me to get time alone and decompress.

This winter I had planned a two part girl’s getaway with some friends. I was going away to spend the weekend with one girlfriend, but planned to come early so I could see another friend and her baby before the weekend. Unfortunately though, days leading up to the mini-trip, I caught a cold. Seeing as the baby was just wee, it wasn’t a good time to go see mom or baby being sick. But instead of cancelling that part of my trip, I decided to spend two days by myself.

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Yep. I stayed in a hotel all by myself and it wasn’t for work.

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I walked around the city and had lunch, and dinner; all at tables for one.

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I even got rush tickets and went to the Opera, alone.

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It was great. I didn’t have to plan my day around anyone else’s schedule. I could choose where and when I wanted to eat. I could explore and just be with my thoughts. Detours were welcome and naps in the afternoon were a gift. I truly felt more relaxed and at peace after those couple days. I had taken time to really reflect on what was really going on in my life.

Now, I know some might be thinking “must be nice. I have X kids, X commitments, a partner/boyfriend/ wife/husband/sick parent/cat who needs daily meds… etc. etc. and I can never find time for myself.” The thing is though, we all have other commitments. And there is never a good time to take time out for “me time.”

So today, I’m writing to say – try a little “me time.” It doesn’t have to be a weekend getaway or an expensive spa day. Have you ever gone to the movies alone? I remember thinking that people would know I’m by myself and would think I was weird. And then, when I finally went, I realized it was no big deal. No one was watching me. It was fun to be enveloped by the sights and sounds of the movie and the theatre.

When I first started working and had to travel for work, I found I had no choice but to eat alone. The first few times I did so, I thought the same thing as with the movies – people will think something is wrong with me for being out by myself. Au contraire! I’ve had some very nice conversations with other patrons and staff when I have had dinner alone. I remember a Sex and the City episode where Carrie ends the show having coffee on a terrace all by herself; I believe she said something to the effect about embracing being by herself and her not hiding behind a book. Hear, hear!

There is something to be said for making your own decisions and not relying on someone else or having to have a cooperation talk whenever you want to go out for supper. It is a confidence builder to know that you can find your way around a city or new town. Getting dressed up and going out doesn’t have to be for something or someone; it can also just be for YOU, to feel like the fine human that you are.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said “Do one thing every day that scares you”, to which I’ll add, even if it is just being alone with yourself for a bit.

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