Gratitude Project 2013 - Day 13 - Grateful for Solitude
By EllaHalliganRN on November 13, 2013
Gratitude Project 2013 - Day 13 of 30
Gratitude Thought for the Day
“I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
I am an introvert... I see the definitions of introvert in so many places and they seem to center on the idea that introverts don't like other people. While I am sure there are some introverts for whom that is true, it doesn't really have anything to do with being an introvert. Most introverts like people a great deal... we just find a lot of contact with them to be draining. We require time alone to "recharge our batteries" before we head back out.
I know other people for whom that kind of solitude is almost painful... the true extroverts who recharge their batteries by being around other people. I find that as strange as they undoubtedly find my desire for solitude.
Interestingly enough, my husband and children don't seem to fall into that category of "drains on the system" that I find when interacting with most other people. This is probably because all of them are, to some degree, introverts as well. They are sociable children... they love being around others... but they need their "downtime" just as much as mama does.
I have just about a perfect nursing job for an introvert... I work night shift with newborns. This means I spend a great deal of time walking quiet halls, or sitting in a quiet nursery holding a baby so that his or her mama can get a few hours of sleep before the next time baby needs to breastfeed. This gives me time to think... which I love. The same with my car ride to and from work... it's an hour or more over beautiful mountain roads. (It can be a bit treacherous in the winter, but it is a lovely drive otherwise.)
Dawn is a beautiful moment for a night shifter... my friend Linda will often call me over to a window in an unoccupied room and we will quietly watch the sun come up together. How precious are those moments of beauty shared silently with someone whose mind works much like my own!
The next time that you find yourself alone, don't fight it or try to fill it with noise and busyness... appreciate those moments alone with your thoughts. Let them wander and see where they take you.
If you have trouble finding that "alone time" (and it can be a challenge, especially for moms), try to rearrange your schedule to have at least a little of it each day. Get up a little bit before the kidlets do... or stay up a little later. Take a bath after the kids have gone to bed. If you are a breastfeeding mom, don't sigh and dread those middle of the night feeds... enjoy the special, quiet time with your little one and cherish those moments of togetherness combined with the mental solitude and ability to think "quiet" thoughts...
“Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.” ― Eve Ensler
Your Turn... Journal It!
Find some quiet time alone today to be with your thoughts... take time to just stare at your children while they nap, or watch the sun rise (or set) over a cup of tea or coffee. Enjoy this time... and let your mind remind you of other times in your life when quietness took over and allowed you to really enjoy your own company. Use this time of quietness to find the things you want to write about in your gratitude journal today. What are your favorite parts about enjoying your own company? What lessons do you learn there? What are your favorite joys about returning to the company of others? Is it somehow richer to be with them after you have enjoyed some time to contemplate alone?
Don't miss any of the Gratitude Project 2013 posts:
- Day 1 – Gratitude is Good For You!
- Day 2 – Be Grateful For Nature
- Day 3 – Be Grateful For Your Memories
- Day 4 – Be Grateful for Hardships
- Day 5 – Be Grateful for Your Vulnerability
- Day 6 – Be Grateful for Music
- Day 7 – Show Your Appreciation!
- Day 8 – Be Grateful for Children
- Day 9 – Grateful for My Husband
- Day 10 – Grateful for Our Veterans
- Day 11 – Be Grateful for the Gift of Today
- Day 12 – Grateful for Friends
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