I Had the House to Myself
I had the rare luxury of having the house to myself this past weekend. My husband went to visit a friend in LA and dropped off our son at my parents’ house on the way. And oh my god, I cannot fully express how glorious this time alone was.
It was as if time had expanded and I was able to accomplish a million items than my usual one or two. I cleaned the bathrooms, put up an art piece in my son’s room that was collecting dust on top of our bookshelf because I couldn’t find the time to put it up, finished my sermon, officiated a memorial service along with an accompanying graveside service, relaxed, reflected, read, exercised, stretched.
A weekend highlight was dinner preparation and the actually dinner. I took my time strolling to the local grocery store, bought whatever appealed to me for that evening, and constructed a magnificent meal of a greek salad, quiche, and cheesecake for dessert.
I prepared, cooked and ate slowly within the silence of my outdoor patio. The twinkle lights around the patio sparkled. A nice breeze swept in from the canyon next to our home. I planned on watching a light romantic comedy afterwards but just ended up sitting in the silence for a long period instead.
What a stark contrast to my normal evenings of constant toddler gabbing, food thrown everywhere, harried activities and nonstop distractions.
In the midst of all this, I had an epiphany. For me, to truly restore, I need to stay home by myself instead leave my home. This all makes sense as I have always, always been drawn to the notion and feeling of home. My favorite pastime growing up was looking at new model homes with my parents (my dad studied architecture so we did this often as a family). I love decorating, making our home feel as safe and warm as possible, and I love entertaining guests so that they can also enjoy our home.
But because of the nature of my work, I travel or go on retreats without my husband and son every couple months. While I feel the great anticipation of rest and restoration as I pack for my getaways, I rarely return rested and restored. In fact, many times, I feel the opposite: even more frazzled and disoriented.
This weekend made me realize how I needed to turn this practice around so I’m leaving less and staying more (while simultaneously having my two boys leave more, haha! No, but seriously.). On the phone with my husband on one of the nights he was gone, I actually said to him, “maybe you just need to take the kids on regular camping trips without me!” I was happy that he readily agreed to this idea. Not just because he loves the outdoors but also because he so obviously observed how much happier I was after I got my home-alone time.
This is something for you all to reflect on when you are feeling stretched thin. Are you the type that needs to leave home for rejuvenation or the type that needs to stay home alone for rejuvenation? Not all of us are similar in this regard. My parents, for instance, need to leave their home to feel refreshed. Once you figure out where you need to go (or stay) to feel rested, try to make it happen more often for your own mental health!
Speaking of mental health, I received several positive reflections in response to last week’s post about clearing space for what you truly want to come through. I’m so glad that idea resonated with so many of you.
One follow-up comment I want to add is that once you decide to clear your life of certain clutter (whether that be material items, relationships (maybe not even a relationship entirely but a certain dynamic within the relationship), leadership commitments, etc.), you will be tempted to return to what was before. You will doubt your decision and rationalize why it wasn’t a good decision to get rid of (fill in the blank) in the first place.
This is all normal. Don’t give in.
While humans are wired for constant growth and change, the irony is that our natural state is always inertia—resistance to change—even good change. Any kind of change shocks and scares us at first and we just need time to recalibrate to a new normal; a new normal which is so much better than what we used to deal with.
I really wanted to convey this phenomenon to you because if you’re not aware of it, you’ll revert to your inertia. Don’t go back. Keep moving forward and know that doubt and discomfort are a part of every metamorphosis.
Finally, because I had the weekend to myself and more energy than I knew what to do with, I completed the first “Ask Me Anything” video! I’ll be sending that out to all subscribers at the end of this week. So if you haven’t subscribed, subscribe now below by Thursday night to receive the first video.