Thursday, February 26, 2015

Half an Hour

Have you heard of "Me" time? I remember when I first heard about it. 

Those were the days, man. The days I was exhausted. I was new to the world of two kids, with a newborn and a three-year-old. And it's like this: 

The newborn phase and the preschooler phase are precious. Seriously. Newborns and preschoolers are like peanut butter and pizza. Really great stuff. Just maybe not so much at the same time, if you know what I mean.  
Princess, 5 months, and Little Man, who'd just turned 4
It was precious. It was tough. 

So "Me" time? It resonated. It rang like Quasimodo's bell tower, and I was all, "Girl power!" or whatever.

Through the years, I've daydreamed about taking a vacation by myself. I've had visions of shopping for clothes without hunting for kids in the racks. Of eating at restaurants that didn't serve chicken strips. Of leaving half a candy bar out in the open, and finding it intact when I came back. (Those are the things you daydream about, too, right?)

Then I went to Lynchburg for a class. I stayed at a fancy hotel, took bubble baths in silence, watched as much TLC as I could stand, and kept the refrigerator stocked with whatever I wanted. It was like college, only with a jacuzzi. I had plenty of time to myself.

But can I tell you a secret? Mostly, I didn't feel relaxed. Mostly, what I felt was. . . a little bored. And (this part's trite but true) I missed my family.

Fast forward two years, and I was in Lynchburg again for more classes -- two weeks in a row this time. Instead of a fancy hotel, I stayed at a little cabin called Chestnut Cottage. The hosts were warm, the cabin was cozy, and it even snowed while I was there. But there I was, a snowy cabin all to myself, good coffee and Veronica Mars on tap - and I wanted to go home.

So what's the deal? 

I guess in the end, the deal is the whole "time" thing - specifically, how much time. I don't need a week or two without the responsibilities of home and family. What I need is time to regroup, time to think, and time to process. I need time when nobody's asking me any questions and nobody's needing me for anything. 

And I can do that, even at home. In fact, I'm doing it now. 

The Preacher came home an hour ago and invited me to lunch on campus with him. The introvert in me has trouble with spontaneous outings, and I said maybe next time. (He gets me.) So he invited the kids. (See how he gets me?) And I've had half an hour of silence and peace to do whatever.

They'll be back soon. It won't be a week of quiet.

But half an hour to drink hot coffee and read and write in peace is just what I needed today. That whole "resonating" thing is happening right here in my living room. 

And you know, a vacation used to take a week,
but this "Me" time - 
half an hour of peace and silence and putting a kibosh on a stressful week with the running and the worry - 
is enough. It's enough for me, at least. 

(Thanks, Preacher.)

In Retreat, 

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