Even with an extra day this month, I still didn't accomplish much in the way of focusing on solitude.
I started the month with a family vacation, and when I say family, I mean not just MaMe, but MaMe plus grandparents, my sister, nephew. In total, we had 11 people in our group. We felt very blessed that so many people could agree to go on vacation with us on such short notice, and I wouldn't take anything for the memories we made (or for the help they were able to provide in watching the babies while we were away). That said, I think you can understand how the whole experience wasn't conducive to solitude.
The closest I came to being alone the whole trip was when I was in the shower. Oh, there was that one day on the cruise when my mom kept the babies for an hour so Marty and I could finally go to pool and have a fruity umbrella drink (without a kid pulling on my leg wanting a sip).Once home, it was tough getting back into our daily routine. First, Marty and I were sick. Then, the babies were sick.
One thing I learned is that it is tough for me to focus on a value when it seems the only one benefiting is me or when there isn't a tangible outcome for my efforts. Focusing on organization was easy. It was easy to say the time invested was worth it because I had a clean closet, an organized pantry, and a labeled craft area to show for it. Why can't I prioritize a clear mind in the same way?
The month wasn't a totally wash, though. I was able to begin a few things from my list:
• Changing my wake-up time to have more “me” time (which has resulted in a corresponding increase in my coffee intake).
• Cutting back on my social media time (sorry if this has meant I visited your blog less).
• Starting my 5K training (3 times in a week is a good start, right?).
As a family, we have also started something that is too new to call a tradition, but I like it, and it's a version of solitude.
Usually on Fridays, we are busy--going to hockey games, shopping, eating out, visiting family, running errands. For the past two Fridays, we have stayed in and had a family fun night. We've had meals the babies could help make (homemade pizzas and tacos) and then activities we can do with them (sensory boxes and finger painting). Granted, I am not alone, but it's pretty close when I can say I am alone with just my husband and my babies. And we're focused on only each other. I can't think of a better way to end the week.
This month's core value is service.
On Sunday, I'll be sharing my thoughts on service and some concrete ways I plan to make service my my focus for March.