No one said it better than Dr. Seuss … “All Alone! Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.” I LOVE to be Alone, you should know that about me. “And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.” I can honestly say I’ve never been scared but I can tell you for the first time in my life I feel a bit lonely. “But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl.” I’ve been reading Glennon Doyle Melton’s memoir “Love Warrior” and I’m at the part where she talks about how it’s okay to be in pain, to feel lonely, to feel scared, to feel angry, She writes “What if my anger, my fear, my loneliness were never mistakes, but invitations? What if in skipping the pain, I was missing my lessons?, Instead of running away from my pain, was I supposed to run toward it? Maybe instead of slamming the door on pain, I need to throw open the door wide and say. Come in. Sit down with me. And don’t leave until you’ve taught me what I need to know”. I started going to yoga at least 20 years ago and I loved it, I loved the aloneness of it, the non-competitive aspect of it, the staying in your own space on your mat, and if there was discomfort or boredom or a desire to leave, if I could just stay in the quiet, and the confined space of my mat, and the heat, and my own body, and try to stay out of my mind and just try to be there in the moment for one hour I’d have accomplished something. I’m three quarters of the way into Doyle Melton’s book and she’s discovered yoga and at first she’s been going to the same class with the same teacher and then one day that class is full. And the girl behind the front desk tells her she could go into another class which is “hot yoga” (the yoga I practice) it can be very intense and people either love it or hate it, the teacher goes around the room asking everyone to state their intentions for the next hour (my teachers don’t ask you to say it out loud 😮) her answer is “My intention is just to stay on this mat and make it through whatever is about to happen without running out of here”. STAYING!!! another blog post. There is so much power in staying! Staying in discomfort, staying to see how things turn out instead of running away. Staying through the pain and the sweat and the tears. It’s easy to run, trust me I know! Running, literally the act of physically running was my yoga in the past. Doyle Melton says after “as they are lying in savashana & she is crying, and sweaty and snotty and yet the teacher puts her hand on her arm … and whispers to her “that — what you just did? that is the Journey of the Warrior. Now don’t forget to breathe” She thinks to herself “why does everyone keep telling me to breath. I’m alive, aren’t I? Isn’t it clear that I’m breathing”? 😂
And what is the Journey of the Warrior?” It’s funny I’ve been doing yoga for so long .. warrior one, warrior two, fallen warrior, humble warrior and sometimes when we’re in warrior two, I have a favorite teacher who will say … “YES, you! YOU ARE a warrior!” and I would just kind of smile but after reading “Love Warrior” I finally get it, we are all capable of being a warrior and the greatest warrior you can be is the “Warrior of YOU!” of your life, of your happiness of your well being. And part of that, I’d dare say is learning to be alone and to feel comfortable in the aloneness. When my kids were little I was quite literally losing my mind not having enough alone time, ask any mom the hours between 5-7 or the “witching hours” as mom’s refer to it, can be so awful because everyone is tired and hungry and it’s been a LONG day especially if no napping went on ;). My husband works really long hours and I am completely understanding but it definelty makes those hours more difficult when you are doing it alone! Eventually, to save my sanity I hired a sitter once or twice a week from 5-7 so someone else could do dinner & pjs with them & it was great, I’d go for a hike or yoga or meet a girlfriend for a glass of wine and it really helped. Sometimes we need to figure out what we NEED in order to save ourselves, our sanity, our wellbeing in order to be a better mom, wife, friend to ourselves & others (a”warrior”) but now the tables have turned and I am alone more often than not between the hours of 5-7 because my kids are busy and I’m lonely. I’m alone most of the day because the kids are in school and I recently quit working so there are days that the only contact I have with other people is if I go to the grocery store & of course yoga. Which for the most part I love, but now those hours have become “the witching hours” again. Thank goodness I have my dogs, I usually take them for a second walk of the day around 5 to “kill” some time before cooking dinner and to wear them out, I’m in love with them both!
But I then have 6-7 or 6-8 to get through and I HATE cooking … for so many reasons. So here’s what I do and most of you would say that’s not so bad … I have a glass or two of wine watch re-runs of Girls (my favorite show) while I’m cooking and all of the sudden a chore I hate becomes tolerable and dare I say a bit fun, I have seen every episode of Girls multiple times and I still “laugh out loud” ;).
The problem is I get hungover even from a glass or two of wine so it hasn’t been a great habit to get into, when I tell people about my “bad habit” they say “doesn’t sound too bad to me?!” I guess there are worse things I could do!? At any rate ALONE is something I am quite a lot and those hours between 5-7 have become yet another aspect of having kids that I hadn’t anticipated and am trying to navigate and find something that works for me besides wine and re-runs of Girls! I love what Doyle Melton said instead of “running away” in the form of escaping with wine & Girls maybe I need to “throw the door wide open and say come in, sit with me and don’t leave until you’ve taught me what I need to know”. It just dawned on me that I act like I don’t have time to meditate and yet I have time to watch the same episode of Girls for the 5th (or 10th) time! it’s hard for me to sit still with me & just me and not move and try to just be ALONE with my thoughts (that I’m supposed to acknowledge and then let go and then think about nothing and then be ok with the nothingness 😳😝, I really need to practice meditating!
You don’t always have to like it but … “Alone! Whether you like it or not, Alone is something you’ll be quite a lot”. “On and on you will hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are. You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) KID YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS! So …be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting . So … get on your way!”
Thank you Dr. Seuss for your many, many wonderful words of wisdom! xoxoxo