It was quite wrenching for me to cancel plans with a friend this past Friday evening, not only because I wanted to spend time with her, but because I struggle to say no.
But, the fact is, I needed to be by myself.
When I was constantly on the road, I got homesick, and was often physically exhausted, but alone time was plentiful what will all my hours spent in airports, planes, hotels.
Nowadays it isn't.
And so every once in awhile, I cancel plans at the last minute. Which isn't fun or fair to anyone. If only I would write "alone time" on the calendar, and hold that time sacrosanct.
I just don't how to do this yet without being clumsy, awkward.
But I intend to learn.
Said Anne Morrow Lindbergh, If women were convinced that a day off or an hour of solitude was a reasonable ambition, they would find a way of attaining it. As it is, they feel so unjustified in their demand that they rarely make the attempt. One has only to look at those women who actually have the economic means or the time and energy for solitude yet do not use it, to realize that the problem is not solely economic. It is more a question of inner convictions than of outer pressures, though, of course, the outer pressure are there and make it more difficult...
How inexplicable it seems. Anything else will be accepted as a better excuse. If one sets aside time for a business appointment, a trip to the hairdresser, a social engagement, that time is accepted as inviolable. But if one says: I cannot come because that is my hour to be alone, one is considered rude...and has to apologize for it.
Lindbergh continues, and this is what I hope you will remember:
When one is alone...[is] among the most important times in one's life. Certain springs are tapped only when we are alone. The artist knows [she] must be alone to create; the writer, to work out [her] thoughts; the musician, to compose; the saint, to pray. [And] women need solitude to find again the true essence of themselves: that firm strand which will be the indispensable center of a whole web of human relationships.
Do you have some alone time scheduled today? This week? This month?
Will you use that time to dream? To discover your self?