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Organizing Alone Time

There are some means to make our lives easier that are better than technology {whaat!?!}. Yes, I said it. What is this magical marvel I speak of that trumps even the latest and greatest technology? Solitude. I'll say it again. Solitude. Do not get it twisted with simply living alone or being lonely. The solitude that I speak of involves taking a step back, re-centering, replenishing and getting in touch with your soul. I finally cashed in on my Christmas present from the hubs yesterday and spent almost all of the day alone in solitude. It wasn't just having the day alone that made it such a rejuvenating day, but I went in with an organized plan to make the most of my alone time and got a few surprises along the way.

Warning: This is going to be long, so I hope you have some alone time. Get it? Alone time?
Deciding to be Alone
For me, it was one of those last minute decisions. An opportunity presented itself and it freed me up for a whole day. What was I going to do? I could use the day to catch up on chores, get ahead with blog posts, or take the day off {my hub-bub's suggestion}. My initial reaction to taking the day off was "Oooh yeah, take the day off and go to the spa, but...".

It's the buts that get in the way of solitude. Big buts. But there's laundry, the toilets need to be scrubbed, I haven't started any posts for this week, but, but, but. Ultimately God decided the day for me when we got a notice on our door saying that our building's water would be shut off for the day due to repairs. Ok God, I'll take the day off. After I finally surrendered to solitude, I needed to prepare myself.

Planning to be Alone

A whole day to myself! What was I going to do!?! The prospect haunted me all day long.
{Enter my inner dialog with God}
Me: Should I get my chores done today so I don't feel guilty about doing nothing tomorrow?
God: No. 
Me: Should I bring my iPad so I can do some blogging while I'm there?
God: No.
Me: What am I going to do?
God: Spend the day with me.
I couldn't just have the whole day to myself without organizing some sort of plan or preparing supplies {it's one of my gifts, remember?}. I looked on the spa's website to see what kind of things they had to offer.  If you're ever in Southern California and in need of pampering and solitude, I highly recommend Glen Ivy Hot Springs. After browsing the amenities, I decided to take an aqua aerobics class, book a massage, do some reading, and bring my beachy essentials.

Being Alone

I was quite happy with my plan for the day and was prepared to be at the spa from opening until closing. I planned very little interaction with any social media and was prepared to be disconnected from my electronics for most of the day.

My day started off great. I woke up feeling rested and excited. The sun peaked out of the cloudy morning gloom just as I was approaching the spa and I had a full day ahead of me...alone. I learned very quickly when you're alone it's just that.  You are utterly alone.

I passed several groups of women who were taking a spa day together and felt alone. I checked in, found a locker, got dressed, put on sun block, previewed the lunch menu, walked around the facility to familiarize myself with the grounds, all alone. I was a bit lonely, but I kept reminding myself that I needed this time alone. Enjoy yourself.

After getting over the initial shock of solitude, I got on with my day. I started in the steam room to get me to relax a little bit and found two women there together talking. I was the awkward loner who walked in on their conversation. I tried not to include myself in their conversation and just be. They finally had enough of the steam room and left me to it, when soon after that another woman walks in...alone. Ah. We talked for a few minutes and when I had enough steam for one day, I left to catch the aqua aerobics class.

The aerobics class helped me feel more in my element. I could be alone there and be fine. I wasn't the awkward loner. The class was a great way to break the ice of solitude for me. After that, my body was charged up, my mind was reeling and I was ready to plow ahead. I went along the rest of the morning enjoying being alone and taking care of my physical body.

Finding Company in Solitude

As lunchtime rolled around, I started to feel the all-alone-blues again, so I called my husband to tell him how my day was going and good ol' technology strikes. I get a notification that one of my dear friends also happens to be at the very same spa on the very same day! I am frantically calling and looking for her relieved that I won't have to spend the rest of the day by myself, only to find out she had already left and was on the way home. I conceded and thought, "Ok, God. I need to be alone today. I get it. It's fine. I am having a really great time. I don't need to be here with someone."

Then, I get a gift. A text message. She's on her way back! Yay!!!

Now, to really appreciate this gift, you have to understand the background to this divine appointment {not coincidence}. My friend is a member of the spa who had frozen her membership due to her recent pregnancy. Neither of us planned to be there that day until just the day before {and we are both crazy planners}. The day that she decided to go was the very last day she could go in order to keep her membership active. I had a gift card and could have picked any other day, ever. I hope you're tracking with me here. This was God's gift to me for the day.

We found each other finally and soaked up the sun, took in some suds and had a great time of connecting! Before long, it was time for my massage and time for her to really head back home. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

Peace in the Solitude

There's nothing like a massage under an oak tree to get you feeling peaceful. By then, the day was almost done and all I had were a few more precious hours. I felt it was a great time to get my book and read under a nice gazebo in a rocking chair with my feet up. I am reading Captivating by John and Staci Eldredge, and spent a good hour sitting there reading, uninterrupted. It was the one time that the chapters dictated my reading time and not the clock. Gift!

I read to my heart's content and finally decided to call it a day. My physical body was fed, my social being was fed, and my soul was fed. It was a great day.
My day off was spent at the spa, but since I left, hoping for another day of alone time, I realize that solitude doesn't have to be spent at the spa in order to be beneficial. As you can see from the image at the beginning of the post, all you need is to disconnect for a day and find ways to feed your mind, body and soul. It could be in your backyard, at the local park, or even a library. If you're going to make a day of it, try going to all three! It will be much cheaper than a spa day I can tell you that. The point is, do not miss opportunities of solitude. As strange as it may feel at first, you will find that at the end, every part of you will be filled up and ready to pour back into your loved ones.

Have you experienced the peace in solitude? Do you feel guilty taking a day for yourself? Don't! Tell me what your plans are for organizing your own alone time.

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