Last week I had a day all to myself. A day I looked forward to and felt I needed for some time.
For a few weeks prior, I had been feeling overwhelmed. Long winter days with cooped up children. The monotony of daily life - meal prep, meal clean-up, school, meal prep, meal clean-up, laundry, meal prep, meal clean-up, bedtime routine, etc. Ever feel like that's ALL you ever do?
Oh, well, besides listen to whining, answer questions, change diapers, referee arguments, and all the other miscellaneous things mothers do.
Well, after these mundane weeks topped off by several days of sick children, I was ready for a day alone. No cares. No responsibilities.
Ok - AFTER I cleaned up from breakfast, had a meeting organizing next year's homeschool co-op, loaded up a bale of straw for a customer, got lunch on the table, and changed one last diaper.
So, it wasn't a whole day. It was just an afternoon. FIVE hours. All to myself.
You know what? It was disappointing. Extremely.
Anytime I think I'll have some time to myself, I have some great ideas. All of which I forget when I actually get that time or just don't end up like I envisioned. This time, I went to our downtown library. The kids and I had just toured it on a field trip the week before. "What a great place to just hang out," I thought. Sure, if you don't mind getting turned around on all the one-way city streets, walking down 5 flights of stairs in a very ominous stairway, trying to locate a decent book in a 4-floor, 2-building library, paying $5.00 for a SMALL cup of coffee, and finding a seat among the various homeless people scattered throughout the building.
From there, I had an appointment at 3:00. I arrived right on time. Well, what was on time in my world. However, according to THEIR appointment book, I was an hour and a half late. Reschedule.
Now, I have some extra time all to myself. It was a beautiful day. Oh, to find a nice little lunch to eat in a nice little park. Easier said than done.
Finding something to eat with an open-for-the season park nearby with a nice place to sit in the middle of March is a bit impossible. Not only that, but I have a terrible sense of direction and in trying to get from point A to point B via a route I hadn't taken in 2 years, I ended up literally driving all over the Greater *city-in-which-i-live-near* Area.
It was a lovely day for a drive.
I ended up in a parking area of a park (not yet open-for-the-season) with a order of onion rings, a milk shake, and a recently checked out book. In my car. On a gorgeous sunny, warm day.
Why didn't I go for a walk? Because I wanted to relax. Plus, I grew up with horror stories about women who walk alone in off-season parks. In the daylight.
Again, very disappointing.
However, a wonderful thing has resulted from this very LONG afternoon. My heart has been turned back to where it belongs - home. To my family and to their needs. In the past week and a half, I haven't once felt the need to "get out." When I have had to leave, I look forward to returning to my little nest. Oh, meal preperations and clean-up are just as exciting as ever, but now I am content to be with my family. I still referee arguments and get annoyed with whining toddlers, but I really don't want to be anywhere else. Because time to myself isn't all it's cracked up to be.
I guess God does work in mysterious ways. He worked in me at a city library and in a park last Tuesday. And, when I came home, my heart came home with me.