If I Could Spend a Day Alone … This is How it’d Go


stormtrooper eiffel tower paris flowers

I spend a day wishing for time to write after the kids’ bedtime.

Yet, when I get that time, I miss them. And I fall asleep. I’m always sleepy if I don’t keep the Coke Zero flowing. I slow to a crawl. Mind, body, and spirit. I institute process and procedure to possibly accomplish anything and also the leeway to set it all aside.

If I could just get a day, though …

What could you do? If Jesus or Buddha stuffed in an extra day – just a one-off, not an extra day. We can’t mess with the interval between Thursday night football and Monday night, or Sunday meditation service and Wednesday.

Just … a one-off.

What would you do if you had a day all to yourself? I could go all hedonistic and choose a day of horizontal orientation, countless grilled cheese sandwiches, and back-to-back-to-back January Jones movies. (Anger Management to X-Men First Class y todo.)

I’d stretch – but not for my phone

If I had a day totally free …

I’d do the right thing. I’d wake up and stretch – my limbs, not looking for my phone. I’d fill a glass of water before I powered up my laptop. I’d sit mindfully, meditate if I could manage it without falling right back to sleep.

I’d fire up the laptop.

I’d make the breakfast of champions: Two fried eggs, solid whites, runny yolks. I’d warm a dollop of refried beans, with a pat of butter and pinch of shredded American cheese. I’d warm two flour tortillas and read through comments and email from overnight.

I’d close the laptop.

I’d pour a glass of chocolate milk. I’d carry my plate to the porch. I’d push my plate forward and check my glucose level. I’d open a new notebook, jot the date, and record the reading. I suspect it’ll be ugly. I’ll write in one line my prediction why it was so bad.

I’d take my pills, and answer comments.

I’d catch up, and close the laptop again

I’d stay outside as long as I could. The noise – both from birdsong and the beeps of work trucks in reverse, with small plane engines and sirens – would provide the white noise I need. I’d catch up on social media, and close the laptop again.

Time for a walk.

I’d select two golf discs and hit the course at Veteran’s Park in Mint Hill. I’d throw and not keep score and see if that would help reduce the gritted F-bombs and high blood pressure. I’d walk purposefully but presently, appreciating the path I travel.

I’d come home and shower – and get down to work, with a handful of ginger snaps and a cold Coke Zero.

I want to write. I want to open a document and write, not edit. In 22 minutes, I want a post before me, a stream of consciousness but also reflective, of life and soccer and cheese. I’d save my work and read others’, hit social media on my behalf and theirs.

I’d close the laptop again.

I’d pull paper, hear the Norah Jones on my Pandora, and write. I’d write letters of appreciation I’d fallen behind on from last month. I’d skip my mom – for now – and tell Madison just how much I love and admire her. I’d write to Hayden and Camdyn next.

Mindful box sifting

I’d drag down a box of keepsakes from the garage.

I’d pick 25 items to give away. Mindfully. I want to give each of these items to someone who will use them, appreciate them. This is a future mindful activity for the challenge I’m taking. I’ll match Starting Lineup figures with favorite teams of friends I know.

At noon, I’ll have that grilled cheese (and maybe even a January Jones flick.)

I’ll nap with windows open and the breeze on my face. I’ll write more, expounding upon my fiction writing in the Snowflake Method. I’ll recall and formulate the memories and plot particulars and character quirks of my fabulous antagonist.

I’ll pour myself in. Who knows when I’ll stop the world and melt with it again?

I’ll read my friends. I’ll hit posts in the Peaceful Posse, and in my top commenters, and also the WordPress feed. A cross section of the beautiful writers I commiserate with. Real diversity, the kind that comes when we key on similarities and not retribution.

I’ll grill salmon and drink beer, on a night with zero plans, yet an infinite possibility.

What about you? What’s one thing you’d love to do with a day all to yourself? What’s one thing on my list you’d love to steal?

This post on Holistic Waferer inspired this post.

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53 thoughts on “If I Could Spend a Day Alone … This is How it’d Go”

  1. Everyone needs a day alone every now & then. I’ve been blessed to have a number of them. Most I’ve spent all in leisure, reading or watching old movies or playing at blogging. A few I’ve spent out visiting with people I neglected far, too long. And a time or two I used the day to dig in and accomplish chores I had long neglected. It may feel selfish at first, even get a little lonely, but it allows you to receive your loved ones back renewed and revived.

    1. Solitude is a good thing when we choose it, right Barbara? The older I get, the more I seem to appreciate them.

      “Playing at blogging” is about the most accurate way I’d say it’s put, too. And to catch up with old friends … perfect.

      We all have things we can fill the time with. Which are most important? It doesn’t even have to be the most urgent matters, as long as we’re doing something (and for the record, doing nothing definitely counts as doing something.)

  2. LOL one day to do anything I wanted? That’s a bit like, “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Maybe I’d just catch up on all sleep I’ve missed in the last four months. But then, I’d need another day to catch up on the sleep I’ll miss in the next four months :/
    If I can steal one of yours, it would be to sit on the porch with a glass of chocolate milk and listen to birdsong.

    1. Sounds kinda mystic, right Lyn? Let the beggars ride. The nap thing has to happen. I get to catch up on sleep every time I get sick (which is about once a year and 3/4s.)

      Birdsong, chocolate milk, and porches seem to be an unrealized holy trinity.

  3. I would be on the water kayaking before breakfast to see the sun rise. After breakfast, a fried egg with runny yolk, bacon, cheese on a toasted everything bagel, I’d hit the trails for a hike. To a waterfall. After lunch (grilled burgers with Monterey jack w/jalapenos) it would be too hot to go back outside so we ‘d skip off to the theater to see Cars 3.

  4. I’m loving that breakfast and the nap and the walk. I have really pushed for one of the two days icee the weekends to make my own. Sometimes it works- other times is half a day. Still counts right?

    Happy Monday! Here’s to a great week.

    1. Breakfast, nap, and walk would probably bring our collective blood pressure down 30 knots, Tiffany. I like the idea of claiming your weekend day.

      Half day works, for sure, because of the law of averages and to account for those weekends something else takes over from Friday afternoon to Monday morning.

      Here’s to a kickass week, or at least one with a walk and pancakes worked in somehow.

  5. “I want to open a document and write, not edit.” Yep. I’d love for it to always be that way. My alone day would involve writing, hiking, trash tv, and copious amounts of marshmallows and coffee.

    1. If there was a delete-key tax, Christine, I’d be so frugal with it. Maybe a cursory read when it’s done, but get it on the page, right?

      some days the words are stingier. For those days, marshmallows seem like a strong means of encouragement.

  6. I do now and then have an Alone Day and my good intentions of polishing manuscripts and sending them out sound much like your eclectic stop and go list. I usually end up reading a book.

  7. I love this prompt. Especially the mindfulness and breeze on your face and stretching and grilled cheesing and that breakfast of champions you’d prepare. It all sounds wonderfully delightful 🙂

    It’s funny… I technically have a lot of “alone time” since I WFH, but it’s all laid out. Phone calls, the occasional meeting, hours of email, etc… so I don’t feel like I really enjoy ME time in there. I’m going to have to change that. Thanks for this 🙂 PS: I’m still waiting on my letter 😉

    1. Thanks, Charlotte. How can I go wrong if I start a day that way? I’d do it in a heartbeat.

      Even the alone time I manage is claimed by this or that. I imagine a spot where I can reach ground zero, but it’s so way off.

      I’m a little behind on my letters! That’s why it would have been a part of a day like this!

  8. Sounds like a perfect day really! You play disc golf? So do we. And I often don’t keep score either. It’s just a nice way to spend a little time with my husband and son 🙂

    1. It’s hard to find a way to upgrade from my view, Beth, if I must be alone. I love to play disc golf, although I’m a bit of a threat to wildlife and the forest in general.

      I love to play with the girls, especially. Not keeping score is better for my blood pressure, and I’m not a tense sort of sportsman.

  9. I enjoy a nice quiet day alone! Sounds like you had a great day! I work from home so I spend a lot of time alone, but it’s not the same as a nice day where I enjoy thing alone things I’m doing! Grilling and having a beer sounds about heaven!

    1. Don’t they rock, Trish? This was in concept only. If I could pull it off without a strict agenda.

      Grilling and having a beer is a great way to cap a day – especially when you do have an agenda, but even better when you do not.

  10. Great day!!! I’d want to steal napping with the breeze on my face. 🙂 But mostly I’d want to spend all day writing .. fiction… I find I’m too exhausted at nighttime nowadays to write much!

    1. Thanks, Katherine! Napping wins alone, but add the breeze? Mega win. Just to have a day to see how far we can get in our fiction … I feel like there should be a reward that includes this for we parents who fight the good fight.

  11. I had two days (my hubby was doing first aid training all Saturday and Sunday) to myself and it was glorious. 🙂
    Oh how I enjoy alone time.

  12. I love that it is equal parts lazy, fun, and productive! I think we all need a day without pressure to do ANYTHING, to actually do something that is truly important to us.

    1. Every day should have that kind of balance, shouldn’t it? And really, what we deem that day to be important might be miles away from our actual to-do list, and that’s okay, right?

  13. Wow! You would fit A LOT in one day. I just had a whole week to myself. There wasn’t much relaxing done, but I enjoyed not having to account for my time and eating what I wanted when I wanted to.

    1. Well, I felt like it a balance between getting after it and getting lazy, Kathy. Wow, a whole week! The mental currency of surrendering accountability for time and snack is immeasurable.

  14. As a blogger, my day to myself would be extremely similar to this. Only I’d probably also bake something. And I’d do something I feel like I “ought” to do. Then I’d selfishly wish I had skipped the “ought tos” and just stuck to the want tos…

    1. We think alike, don’t we April? I left out the baking – for the aroma, yes, but also, I’d get first and volume dibs on what I make!

      I think for every “ought to” you should do one “want to” … maybe two.

  15. I do ask myself that question from time to time and then when I get a day by myself I get bored. I start cleaning… I start doing stuff that I did not do because I was “too busy”. Then I remind myself that it’s supposed to be my day off and pick up a book. Then I decide that the weather is too good to read inside and head out for a walk. Then I think it might be nice to catch up on my favorite TV shows now that I’m in control of the TV. And sometimes I catch up with the blogging world (only just sometimes…) In the end though, I’m always glad when everyone else is back home again and we are back together and the mayhem starts again 😉

    1. I think it’s a matter of being okay in the boredom, or at least in the “not spinning my wheels for the greater good.” And the options can become overwhelming, and I find myself doing a little of a lot and a lot of nothing.

      The mayhem is coming – what can we do in the moments before it hits? If that is simply catching up on TV, so be it. I’ve spent some afternoons with the windows open and my laptop on my lap and a soccer game on the TV with any combination of my girls next to me on the couch and felt totally content to make nary a dent in any to-do list.

  16. Eli,

    Being an empty-nester mom most of my days are spent in solitude. At first, it was really hard to have the house to myself once DH went to work. The solitude was almost deafening. It’s amazing how having even one more person in the house fills it even if a little nose is emanated. One day, you’ll have plenty of moments like this and then you’ll miss the flutter of activity of family life. Enjoy these moments because they are fleeting but also savor your downtime when its gifted to you. Nice job!

    1. the moment I get solitude, Cathy, I want a bit of the chaos back. I’m comfortable in it now, but find myself thinking of my family when I get it.

      I do try and get done what I can then so that when they’re around, my nose isn’t stuck in a laptop. Easier said than done.

      If I can remain in each moment, in solitude or chaos, I can get the most of it!

  17. Your day sounds lovely for you!

    I have alone time every other weekend while the gentleman friend has his kiddos for an extra day. If I don’t make other plans, I get really antsy. (Alone time isn’t something I actually do well with, even with all my hobbies and mile long to do list.)

    Sometimes I want a couple of hours just to me, but I’d much prefer to be doing something (even quietly) with someone else in the room. If I want alone time I take a book to the bathtub or go to the craft store. 😉

    1. I built it that way, Court. It’s good to have a bit of alone time built in, but I get it, about the plan. I can get unfocused quickly. Just having someone in the room in case you have something profound to say or are going to the kitchen for graham crackers and want to offer a couple of sheets to them, well, there’s validity in that, too.

  18. Your day would be wonderful. If i had a day, i would read and read and read, and visit and comment and visit and comment. Who knows? Maybe for once i would feel mostly caught up.

    A bit of time checking the insides of my eyelids for cracks wouldn’t be amiss, also.

    1. Thanks, Mi. It would take me a day to get caught up! You should see my to-read list! Eyelid maintenance would come naturally after all that commenting and reading and commenting. And reading.

  19. I do not get a day alone very often because my hubby works from home. If I am not with him, I am out running errands, going to school, etc. But once in a while he will leave town like this weekend. But I will STILL not be alone. I have dogs and my schedule is jammed with stuff I will be doing while he is gone. I do not sit still for long. I won’t be able to sleep in either… :-/ Oh well…… if I actually DO get one alone, I will probably write, watch TV, eat and sleep 😉

    1. At least he’s around to fetch you snacks and make you an omelet right Courtney? It’s all the routine. Sometimes when true alone time is that rare, we’re best served using it to sleep and eat and watch TV – and write, if we don’t fall asleep first!

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