Back in college, I could spend hours studying or practicing flute, and my job after college involved a lot of work by myself on the computer. One of the most difficult thing to get used to when my first child was born, and especially as he got older and the naps disappeared, was the lack of time to myself to think my own thoughts or just not to have to respond to someone else's.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love staying home and homeschooling my children. The opportunity to spend the days with people I love, to hear their thoughts and watch them grow and change is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened to me, and I will be very sad when they're all gone off. Why do you think we have one seven years younger than the next youngest? Not accidentally, as many people seem to have thought, but to delay the empty nest stage. I've never understood people who "Can't wait till the children go off"!
But, that doesn't change the fact that I need time to myself to stay on an even keel. I do take time myself in the late afternoon, and late in the evening, but occasionally I need a day to myself. I've needed one for months now, and finally got one today. The rest of the family is helping my sister-in-law and her family move into their new house. Given how bad my dizziness has been lately, nobody probably wants me carrying around their prize possessions anyway!
It's always interesting to see, when I get a day to myself to do whatever I feel like (rather than a day of chores or errands) what I end up feeling like doing. First I went to aerobics today - taking a class I don't usually get to take since Saturdays are busy. I threw myself into it, helped by the excellent CD she was using (one I use too <grin>).
I drove home the scenic country way, listening to a tape of favorites and singing along at the top of my lungs with (among other things) Dar Williams ("When I was a Boy"), Maura O'Connell ("Just in Time" - with its wonderful Dixieland interlude), Lucie Blue Tremblay ("Laissez-Moi Sortir"), Mary-Chapin Carpenter singing a Greg Brown song ("Spring and All": "Spring and what's left of the hippies return/To old rooming houses in New Mexico..."), Brian Setzer, Sarah Vaughn, and Peter Allen ("Everything Old is New Again"). The pear trees are blooming in Orange County, having gone from a brownish color last week to a grayish color earlier this week as the flower buds started opening to large white poufs today as the blooms opened fully. The first wave of daffodils is in full bloom.
When I get time to myself, one of the first things that I almost always feel like doing is playing flute so that was before lunch. I find it harder to make the time to play if I don't have something that I'm practicing for - part of why I'm so bummed out that the church we belong to has an instrumental music program that's closed (though I've enjoyed the few times I've been able to play with the choir). Today, I worked on a Bach sonata and the Chaminade Concertino.
After a reading lunch, I continued gardening - trimming things back that went dormant back in November, and cutting daffodils for vases. Now I'm sitting the the sunshine with a sleepy cat on my lap and writing while listening to CDs - Ring Them Bells by Joan Baez (accompanied, variously, by Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Tish Hinojosa, Janis Ian, Indigo Girls, and Dar Williams), Wizard Women of the North, State of the Heart by Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Favorite Encores by Jean-Pierre Rampal (I realized I didn't have any guys in the mix), and Sylvia Hotel by Cheryl Wheeler.
I'll write more about Cheryl Wheeler at another time, but she's one of our more recent favorites (meaning that I haven't been getting her CD's for over a decade like MC2). Her songs range from very thoughtful to rather silly. "Right Way to do the Wrong Thing" just played - it's one of the thoughtful ones:
Somehow the fair-haired boy has lost his place
Stepped from the golden light, fallen from grace
Scattered promises like broken glass
Turned his heart away from all he has
And you can't believe and you can't explain
How a heart can beat and the world can change
And it's left you wondering
If there's a right way to do the wrong thing.
So, when left to my own devices, that's what's left of me - music, gardening, cats, books, sunshine and aerobics (oh, and now blogging too). No surprise, I suppose, if you've read my blog at all <grin>.
Girl kitty has gotten off of my lap and is now being a computer ornament.