Two of my kids are watching movies upstairs, my daughter is clearing the mess in her room, matching socks, putting clothes away. So I have stolen a little time for myself. I am in the process of catching up on some tv that I have had recorded for a while. I am sitting in my living room, in the dark with no light except that coming from my laptop and my television and the moonlight coming in the window.
I am really just embracing the alone time I have. I am giving my brain some time to create and de-stress. I am caught in the dilemma of whether to get on with my housework OR let my imagination run free for a while. It is nights like these I enjoy writing poetry. There is a calmness in me tonight that makes me very introspective, that makes me want to indulge my intellect and try and write something – anything.
Usually I like to look into who I am. Usually I like to feel like I have gotten some therapeutic healing with my writing. Tonight however I want to write because it takes me out of myself, it makes me concentrate on something other than responsibilities. It allows me to be me, it brings out the inner me that I don’t always have time to listen to. I have been putting others first for so long that being on my own, or having time to myself is an alien concept. One way of combatting this has been for me to go for long walks with my dog Zeke.
When we go for walks I switch off completely, I don’t think about anything much. I breathe in and out, I put one foot in front of the other, I let the dog dive about in the river or run free up in the hills because it sets me free being outside. I love nothing more than walking in cold weather, with the wind sweeping my hair all over the place. I love the wildness of walking in the hills, the way I can disappear for a few hours and not see another human being. I always walk with music in my ears. I switch off completely and just let myself be out there. The cold makes me feel alive, I feel as if the fresh air is cleansing my soul. It is the next best thing to do apart from watching my kids laugh with abandon. It is not unusual for me to get home absolutely exhausted and if I have time before I have to pick up my kids I will nap on the couch.
It only took me forty years to realise that I really enjoy my own company, I don’t mind being out on my own in fact I actually prefer walking on my own. The times I have walked with other people it does not have the same effect. It is like their conversation invades the place in my head that embraces the senses, the smell of the trees, the rush of the wind through the grass etc.
The new development on the walking front is the inspiration that pops into my head. The countryside seems to unlock the parts of my brain that sit dormant on normal days. I feel compelled to go walking every day. My life depends on it I think.