It has been a bit since I posted.
There are two main reasons for this absence.
First, the world has a serious crisis right now. This COVID-19 situation has a lot of us living a different life.
The second reason for my writing absence: my house has a crisis now too. Everyone is home all day. ALL DAY.
Now, I love quiet calm days at home with no obligations. The peace and solitude of an empty schedule can be refreshing.
But right now this “quiet” is more like isolation, not solitude.
What is the difference?
To me, solitude is an intentional choice to be in the quiet with our thoughts.
Isolation is a forced quiet. The brakes were slammed for us, and we feel a loss of control and a loss of calm.
Essentially we feel like our solitude was stolen.
So what can we do?
Normally I would retreat to my room, lock the door, and just close my eyes and breathe for 5 minutes. This would give me some quick solitude.
But now our room is a home office, so that retreat is gone.
Normally I would take the kids to the park and I would read or write while they play.
Normally we would have play dates in this beautiful weather and start swim lessons.
However, all of this “normally” is temporarily gone.
But it will be okay.
So here are a few ways I am trying to reclaim my solitude among this crazy new normal:
1. Admit solitude is different, not lost forever
Last week I got completely overwhelmed.
I started thinking in absolutes (I will NEVER get my time back).
I realized I needed to admit that “my time” would be different. Solitude is not lost forever. This is temporary.
2. Ask for solitude
With more people at home together, I have to be direct about what I need. I have to ask for what I need.
My family cannot read my mind, and it is not fair to blowup on them because I didn’t ask for what I needed.
Be honest with the people around you and take the time you need.
3. Be Present in the Solitude you get
Once you ask for solitude and receive it, don’t forget to be present in it.
Sometimes when we finally get what we want, we forget to enjoy it.
Breathe and enjoy the intentional quiet.
I do not know how long this will last.
That uncertainty can make us uneasy.
But we can try to find some solitude among the isolation, and some peace among the noise.
Wishing health and peace to all of you!