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Solitude, by Frederic LeightonI don’t know what to do with myself.

I keep finding myself stranded with hours around me – early morning hours, late evening hours, afternoon hours – in which nothing is demanded, nothing is required, nothing is pressing.

And I don’t know what to do with myself.

I sit in the absence of a partner whose needs I had given precedence. I sit in the presence of work well-managed. I sit in a home that is in order, amongst relationships that are tended to, laundry that is finished…

And in the silence, and the pause, and the space that echoes…

I remember to ask: What would I love to do right now?

And.. What have I not done in a really long time because it wasn’t important enough?

I am uncomfortable with how uncomfortable these questions feel. I dance like a pro with the needs of others, a hostess extraordinaire, a supportive and loving partner and mom, someone always ready to lend a helping hand —- yet I do not know how to attend to myself.

So I sit with it. I allow it to be. I haven’t rushed in to fill it with busyness, I’m done with that. I’m not interested in filling it with unproductive distraction, either. It feels awkward and weird, but I sit and ask the questions and keep asking them until I get an answer.

In this moment, I want to nap.

And in THIS moment, I want to take a long hard walk up the mountain to the dam and bask in the energy of the peaks and the life-giving water.

Now, I have GOT to put onto paper the words that explain what I most want to give in the world.

And now, I want to read this book that tickles me.

And oh wait, don’t I have some art that wants to be finished?

And do you know what, I think I might have a story asking to be written.

…I pick up the threads of work begun long ago and unfinished, laid aside to make dinner or help with someone else’s project or urgency. Work that is meaningful to me and maybe not to anyone else. Work that makes me taller, invests in my soul and my calling, clarifies my mind. Work that isn’t work, work that is play and art and love and restoration.

It pains me that it took pain to bring me here. It pains me that I feel so awkward within myself, that I find it so hard to answer such simple, inward-focused questions.

There is such a difference between asking “What needs to be done, now?” and “What would I most like to create?”

My hours are more my own than they have ever been. Under my hands, under my direction, they have expanded.

This space exists for me.

 

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