As I sit and write this, it's not from my normal spot on my tan, comfy couch. No, it's one of those rare moments in my life where I am completely alone. No children, not even the baby, are with me right now. I'm seated at a small table inside a local Starbucks, drinking a Cinnamon Dolce Latte (AGAIN!), waiting for my Madgirl to finish her violin lesson.
I have approximately 22 minutes of alone time. For me. All alone. No one else.
I brought two books: Photoshop for Dummies ~ I am still very much a boob in this area, by the way and a John Piper book, my Bible and paper. All for 22 minutes. Apparently I have some wicked time management skills. That or a totally unrealistic perception of just how long 22 minutes actually is.
(Yes, most of this blog post was actually penned rather than typed. It felt weird writing. I couldn't write as fast as I was thinking and I found it quite irritating. It also dawned on me that my children may never have a written memento of me, seeing that my blog is my journal of sorts. Is that sad? Should I actually write more?)
Most of you are probably thinking that I fall into the unrealistic category, huh? Well, you're right. You see, 22 minutes of total alone time, with no one crying, no one yelling, "Momma", no one coming in to ...ahem...assist me in the bathroom (Hope is quite the TP Operator in case you're in the market) is something that only happens around here maybe once every few months. These moments are golden and you better believe I'm going to give myself options as to how I'm going to spend that valuable time.
It's all about the options people. Options are a good thing. Martha would agree.
Honestly, I thought I would read. Then it struck me just how totally weird I felt to be alone. I felt almost...naked. (No visuals people, no visuals. Resist the urge.) I tried to think of the last time I had been alone, truly alone and able to think alone. Not shopping, running errands, just quiet. I couldn't remember. I almost opted to go into Starbucks bathroom and just sit there for a while, taking it all in. You know, unrolling my own toilet paper, without shouting, "yeah!" and clapping at my accomplishment. But I decided that might draw me a little unwanted attention and I just decided to write instead. I'm sure y'all appreciate my courtesy to you in that area.
Anyway. Me alone AND thinking (watch out, I might injure myself here). Here are my thoughts:
When I'm in the day to day chaos that goes on in our home, I don't really think about it. It's normal. It's the status quo. I don't know anything different. And most of the time I wouldn't want it to be any different. Quiet is not a word I would use to describe our family though. I've grown quite fond of our large litter of loud, giggly, moody girls and picking up hair clips, stepping over Barbies, folding Tinker Bell panties, filling sippy cups and breaking up spats over who's bossing who is something I'm used to and frankly, in no hurry to rush along. Even their shrill little screams don't bother me anymore. Much.
But this quiet? It's like honey for my ears. A balm for my soul. Valium for my nerves. I need it. I crave it. And I'm thankful to have it. For me, the quiet clears my head, allows me to think real live logical thoughts and reminds me that I need to do this more often.
Why more often, you ask? ( You did ask, didn't you? I thought so.)
Is it because I want to get away from my husband and children? Shirk my household responsibilities? Drink expensive froo-froo coffee and look like all the other hip, Starbuckish people?
YES! Aw, y'all know better than that....of course NOT!
It's because during these moments of quiet, when I can really reflect on things, that I become totally aware of how truly thankful for all that I have. I find myself again. And upon finding myself I remember that I really LOVE being a wife and a mother! It's who I am and I'm glad for it! It also recharges me, rejuvinates me, allows me enough decompression time to really thank God for all of those things with which He has blessed me. I'm going to go home a better wife, a better mother and definitely hopped up on a little caffeine!
Does it make me perfect? Nope. Because I'm human. I'm still tired and honestly, I'm still a little grouchy. But it's giving me enough time to breathe. Just breathe. And sometimes, especially as a wife and mother, that's all we need to do. Breathe. And eat a little chocolate. And it's perfectly okay to eat it in the form of a giant chocolate chip cookie with one's froo-froo coffee.
Not that I would know, of course.
So if you walk into a Starbucks somewhere in the the great state of Texas and happen upon some woman with a really awesome red dye job, drinking a large froo-froo coffee, pen in hand, writing feverishly in front of a stack of books, walk on over and say "hi".
Better be quick though. I'm only there for 22 minutes.