I'm enjoying something very rare for me these days: a few hours of "me time," alone, at home. It's BIL's birthday; he's on vacation this week, and he asked dh to come out with him this morning to take some stuff up to Older Nephew's new house and then for a takeout lunch somewhere -- something they can do again, now that they're both fully vaccinated! They'll be gone for a couple of hours, and I am basking in the solitude.
I suppose some people think that, being childless, dh & I have lots of "me time" to do whatever we like. Well, yes, we do -- more so than a lot of parents, obviously. But there's "couple time" and "me time" with dh in the house, and there's "me at home alone time" -- there's a difference -- even if I'm doing the exact same things today while I'm at home alone as I would be if dh were here! There's something about having the entire house/condo to yourself for a while - to be able to turn the TV to whatever channel you please (or off completely), without asking someone else if they mind, to make yourself lunch without the other person asking you what you're having and is there enough for them too, to not be bound to someone else's timetable...
When we lived in our house, even though it wasn't a huge house, there was space for us to spread out and be apart, if we wanted to -- one of us in the living room or kitchen, the other in the spare bedroom/office upstairs, for example. We still do that sometimes in our condo -- but of course, when you have just 874 square-feet, all on the same level, you're never very far away from each other. (Despite having increasing difficulty going up & down the stairs in their split-level house, my mother insists that being able to spend time on a different level from my father has saved her sanity, especially during this pandemic, lol.)
Even before we retired and moved into a condo, and even pre-pandemic, dh & I spent a lot more time together than most couples we know. When we were working (in the same downtown office tower), we tweaked our schedules so that we could drive to the commuter train station together, ride the train into work together, and then meet up at the end of the day and make the reverse trip home together (although there were several nights during the month when one or the other of us had to work late and the other person would head home alone to get dinner started). Not being plugged into the parent networks in the neighbourhood or local schools or kids' sports, etc., neither of us had much of a social life outside of work or each other. The few non-work friends we did have, as well as family members, were/are spread out across a vast metropolitan area, which made getting together during the week difficult.
When I used to scrapbook, I would sometimes head to a local scrapbook store and spend a Saturday afternoon working on my pages, sometimes with a friend and sometimes by myself. And sometimes, if I had a day off, I'd take the train into the city to go shopping at the Eaton Centre mall by myself. I'd stop at Starbucks before getting on the homeward bound train and sip my latte and enjoy the view as the train wound its way along the lakeshore.
Most adult women I know get some "me time" by hopping in the car to run errands or go to the supermarket or the mall by themselves. That's not an option for me, because (although I have a driver's license), I don't drive. I've never been a very confident driver (looonnngggg story...), dh has always driven us wherever we needed to go, and I haven't practiced in years. We had a standard transmission car the first few years of our marriage -- and, living in the city, where we could walk or take the subway or streetcar many places, we didn't use it a whole lot (and I would have been a nervous wreck trying to drive in the city anyway...!). Even when we moved to the suburbs and got a car with automatic transmission, it had just become habit for dh to get behind the wheel, and he's always been willing to drive me anywhere I needed to go. I did start practicing again while I was pregnant -- there was no way I was going to be stuck in the house with a baby while on maternity leave! -- and then -- well, you all know what happened there, and driving got pushed back on my list of priorities again.
After losing my job/retiring, I started seriously considering investigating some refresher/confidence building lessons -- and then we moved, and then COVID-19 came along and... (I know -- excuses, excuses...!). I think I would have felt more comfortable trying to drive around Old Community than where we live now -- but, here I am, and I recognize that I really do need to get back behind the wheel again and shed my dependence on dh in this respect. I don't think you'll ever see me out on the 401 (the major highway/freeway that runs east-west through the north end of Toronto) -- but I'd be happy to build up enough confidence to be able to drive myself to the supermarket and pharmacy and bookstore and to BIL's house, if I had to do it myself. We live on a major rapid transit bus route that connects to the subway system (and passes by the supermarket, pharmacy and bookstore en route), and there's a stop directly outside our building -- but it's not an ideal way to go grocery shopping, right? (I did enough of that when I was a student...!)
Anyway. It's a rare "me alone at home" day, and I am enjoying it. :)
Do you feel like you get enough "me alone at home" time?
You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.