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Friday, March 2, 2012

Solitude & Service

Reflecting on February

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.

Looking Ahead to March

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.

MaMe Musings

7 comments:

Miss Megan said...

Those sound like a couple of awesome Friday nights!!
And what a great vacation with your family - even though there wasn't much alone time - it sounds great!
You are so very blessed Melissa!

Tasha said...

You are truly blessed to be able to take a vacation with all that family. Sounds like it was FUN!!
Friday nights are our family night here at home....they are my favorite. Enjoy the family time. Cherish it, be in it, take pictures, write little FUN nights down, play games(like you do...and even when they are older and can entertain each other more),do just that..make it a Friday night tradition. Children will remember those memories of being at home with mom and dad more.....that brings me solitude.

Tami said...

Hockey games? My hockey radar went off when I saw that in your post. Who plays hockey? All hockey minds want to know!

Your vacation will be fond memories your children will cherish. We take a family vacation every summer with my husbands family. We have been doing it even before my children were born (my oldest is 22). Can't believe how fast the time has past.

Nate Shenk said...

Family vacations are the best :)

I'm jealous your kiddos get to play hockey! I always wanted to when I was a wee lad, but never got the chance! I think it had something to do with living in Texas ha

Julia said...

Family fun night---that sounds lovely!

Hooray for just one hour in the pool with a fruity umbrella drink :)

Always Heather said...

Great to hear you started your running! :).. Good on you!

RoryBore said...

running would be a great way to get some solitude. that might just be the motivation I needed to start!

I grabbed some solitude this weekend. I wasn't feeling well, and normally I would just chug along so hubby wasn't left alone with the kids on his weekend off. But then I remembered you: this month was solitude. And this mom needed the solitude of her darkened bedroom to finally feel well again. And since I normally have the kids to myself on the weekends he works - why can't he handle one weekend?
I feel great! The most rested I've felt in a long time.

Oh, just wanted to let you know this 12 in 2012 meme you've started: our mom and kids group at my church are following it! I showed my paster's wife your blog post and she thought it was a wonderful idea! So our 2 March meetings will focus on Service/Sacriface with you!

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