M & Maple left last week on their big adventure out west. 6 AM on Monday morning I heard the VW fire up and looked out the window to see Maple staring back at me as they rolled away.... I cried.
I wasn't sad they left, or upset to be alone for a week. I wasn't nervous for their trip or mad in anyway. There was no jealousy. The tears were some sort of organic reaction to how grateful I am to have people to miss. To have a little wolf pack family that when they drive away all I can think of is 'man I love those two.'
This was different than the typical 'work trips' or 'weekends with friends.' 7 nights and 8 full days was a decent amount of time.
My week alone was glorious for a while. Dear god, there was a LOT of popcorn for dinner and Lean Cuisines. I ran the dishwasher ONCE. I didn't have to walk the dog by the crazy house with 5 pomeranians that scare me. I played a lot of Taylor Swift and watched sad documentaries on Netflix & stole all the pillows I love best and left my roughly 29 water glasses on the nightstand without a coaster (shhhh.).
The funny part is.... I do all of this stuff when M is here. But something about it being just me again was, restorative. I lived alone for 2 full years in Northern Michigan before M moved up here to join me. This week was a little throwback to that time. When I was uninspired to cook for just myself & spent way too much time watching TV.
In typical Kalin fashion I was a bit insane about locking the doors at night, and called the police twice. (insane barking dog for 4 hours & scary banging noise two blocks over) But other than that my spooked tendencies were quite normal.
For the weekend I went to the lake with my best friend and my mom & dad. We drank wine, ate too much food & drove the boat everywhere. It was perfect. But by then, I was missing on my furry friends (note: bearded husband, double coated dog).
It is so weird how accustomed to the noises of routine we become. The shuffle of M's slippered feet, the exact rhythm of him brushing his teeth, or the routine sigh the dog makes when she's ready to go out. The stillness of the week alone allowed me time to relax, reflect & rejoice when they came home.
Alone time is crucial friends. I cannot even begin to list off the amazing business ideas I came up with, what I accomplished, plans for the future and 'to do list' things I crossed off. I'm selfish in a way that when M and I have time together I really don't want to sit down and put together all the bookkeeping stuff for June. I'd rather take the dog out to play, cook a fun dinner, or just sit and chat. When it became just me again, I realized how intensely focused I can be when the environment is just right.
We all need it. Maybe not a week, but a couple days. No spouses, no kids, no pets, no plan. It's tough. I'll admit the derailment of my daily routine was both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes just being with yourself for a few days can help you be a better version of self when your loved ones come back to you.
And so it was. When they pulled in the driveway I was like a bad scene of a home improvement show, jogging out all excited to see them, like when the contractors arrive to build the couples their dream home. I was SO happy to have them back. Nothing epic happened, we sort of just fell back into our routine, and I love it. I love the noise and the daily heartbeat of having everyone back home. And while there are more dishes in the sink now, and new holes in the backyard from the four legged creature- it's all the familiar comforts of life that make it so pleasant, so safe.
I wish for all of you the happiness felt when spending time alone & the equally blissful happiness felt when you return to your tribe.