Be Ok Being Alone
May 25, 2015
Filed In: Family Life
It used to be that I'd take my regular walks alone. Before Benedict arrived, and even in his first few months of life, while it was bitterly cold outside, I'd spend about an hour a day doing my walk in solitude. I'd have a set path that I'd take and while walking I'd listen to podcasts. It was a great time to clear my head, be alone with my thoughts, and think. I'd encourage you to find some time in your week to clear your head by being alone.
You have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. Between work, your wife, and your kids, you're a busy guy. Your responsibilities include meeting work deadlines, meeting your wife's needs, and raising your children. These three areas alone are enough to fill your day, and you haven't had time to take care of yourself yet. In order to be a good husband and father, you need time and space to process the events of your life.
Space lends perspective. It lowers stress and leads to new ideas. My simple 60 minute walk was all that I needed to get great exercise, to become healthier, and to process my day. Your space may be different. It might be woodworking, running, plumbing, bicycling, or reading. No matter what your space looks like, use it on a daily basis.
The tricky part with fitting space in your life is that you shouldn't do it at the expense of your family. There are appropriate times during the day where you can gain the benefits of space and time alone without reducing time with your family or interfering with their schedule. It might be early in the morning or late at night, but it's in there somewhere. It might also be while the kids are in school and your wife is at work. Speaking of your wife, she could use some alone time, too! Give it as a gift to her. Watch the kids while she gets some space, or remove the expectation that you spend the evening together by giving her some time to take a bath or read a book.
We're uncomfortable with silence and we're uncomfortable being alone. Yet, it's precisely in the silence and it’s precisely in the time when we're alone that true rest and rejuvenation hide. Our best ideas come out, we process the events of our lives, and we emerge from this time with our batteries fully charged. Take time to be alone, take time to get some space, and do it at a time and in a place where you have no other obligations.