What would you do if you had a few hours alone? I don’t mean in a quiet it room. I mean alone, alone, alone. Nobody in the house, no plans, no noise.
Even though I’m empty nested, life takes on its own vibes, and I realize now, in the silence of my living room, that the last couple of hours I’ve had while Chris and a friend are golfing are extremely rare.
As the men left I mentioned that I had plenty of things to do to keep myself entertained. Learn some Python, blog, watch a Jane Goodal documentary, etc. And the time has flown. I even got some bonus things in – I worked on editing a book for a friend and watched a few more clips in my wine course and planned some logistics for our next trip 🙂
The feeling flashes me back to the day when, after years with young children, my youngest went to preschool for a couple of hours several times a week. It was the first time in YEARS that I had time to myself. So much to do. I literally found myself spinning. Each chocolate? Take a bath uninterrupted? Exercise? Clean without little hands “helping” me?
That day, I didn’t know where to start. And ended up doing nothing that day. Except spin.
It’s quiet moments like this when I am reminded of how full my life is. And I love that. It’s also cool to take a step back and rediscover interests I can enjoy pursuing in my own time, in my own way, with no time constraints.
I learned something that preschool day. Always keep a list of special things you can do when that rare moment of solitary time hits. Then you will be ready to immerse and enjoy.
I spent August 6-16 in a church camp in northern NY. We do this once a year, staying in a cabin with my mother-in-law. Other in-laws join for parts of the week, and we get to hang out with friends we only see a few times of year. It’s a time where we celebrate our faith by holding a vacation Bible school, attending nightly services, singing and going to Bible studies (all optional but available). It’s a time of lots of laughter, rest, rejuvenation and a reminder of not only the blessings we have, but also a reminder of how we can take our blessings and use them to help others.
A favorite part of the ten days for me is seeing the intergenerational interactions. The 80+-year-olds inspire our teens while our teens take the time to encourage and hang out with the little ones. My age bridges the age gap as we help the old ones move about and guide the teens as they play with the younger ones when our energy levels lapse.
The focus of the kids program this year was “Shine Like the Stars.” Our universe is amazing! We had science lessons that took our breath away. We are so small and insignificant in the scope of all creation, yet we are still considered important and unique. Amazing.
The focus of the program for everyone was light. How can we help others by lighting and clearing a path for them? One way is to reach out to help those in need. One night we learned about a remote area of Africa in which a local-to-us-woman goes to bring books so kids can learn to read and broaden knowledge to pull themselves out of poverty. She brings school supplies, books, and computers to them (plus some resources for food).
While that’s not a specific Christian outreach, it’s really what we (those of us in the camp) believe our faith is all about. Reaching out to help others with the gifts we have been given. It’s all pretty awesome, imho.
Now I’m home and back to my beautiful reality, but I feel refreshed. And I already miss my friends.
What a treat this camp is for my family.
* Many thanks to Carrie Trapasso Halladay for the majority of the images.
One of our favorite winter pastimes. Nothing like a night of Rock Band with the kids. Gotta tell you, we can do the Bohemian Rhapsody like pros!