People and Plans

Posted by: | September 14, 2010

Before I busted my ribs: happiness is a solo camping trip at the Brandywine Meadows.

I was talking with a friend (we’ll call her Allison), and she told me this story about her friend who wanted to spend time with her that night.  Allison felt bad because as much as she liked her friend, she usually had a routine for Monday nights: make dinner to last her the rest of the week, go for a run, do a little bit of reading, then go to bed.  Routines are good things, in terms of health, because they give us a sense of stability and predictability that can provide emotional comfort.  Allison told me how her friend had asked her, “Do you have any plans tonight?”  She didn’t want to break from her routine, but she felt she couldn’t turn her friend down. 

That is when I realized it: we do not feel that we have “Plans” unless it is with someone else.  I told her, “You DO have plans. You have planned your evening.  Just because it doesn’t involve anyone else but you, why is it any less important?”

I would have acted the same way as her, however, if the situations were reversed.  Prioritizing the plans that I make with myself is a difficult thing to do.  Yet I have realized that they are ever so important. Sometimes even more important that the plans that we make with others.

Recently I have discovered that my “Plans with Me” have fallen off my list of priorities.  Most of my summer, I have spent  running around with friends. It has been a great summer, however I haven’t felt as though my life was meaningful unless every moment was filled with (or overflowing) with people.  Secretly, I feared spending time alone.  All this time spent with others, however, has left me drained and lacking in a sense of balance.  So here is my new mantra: “Alone time is so good!”

Honestly, it took a four week stint with bronchitis (which has now developed into a wonderful mild case of pneumonia) that has forced me to value my alone time again.  Due to the pneumonia and my ribs being busted (coughing fits are brutal!), I can’t go climbing or biking (which is where all my friends are these days).  So now I am making plans for me, myself and I, and I am trying my best not to feel disappointed:

  • Coffee with myself. It’s really excellent people watching: you learn a lot.
  • Walks down by the river. Talk about peaceful!
  • Movies in bed.
  • Reading books. (Did I forget to read this summer?)

Any other excellent alone-time ideas? 

I also thought I’d share a video that has become a huge inspiration for me: Tanya Davis’ “How to Be Alone”

Filed under: Suzanne Jolly, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “People and Plans”

  1. Jen says:

    Sorry to hear you are still sick Suzanne! But at least you are getting some quality time to yourself. In addition to your great list, when I’m alone I also tend to become self-reflective and write either in my journal or poetry. I also enjoy blaring some of my favourite music and sing along (if I think no one is listening 🙂 while I do other things like look through old pictures. I also try to catch up with some of my long-distance friends on the phone since when I’m busy its harder to make it happen! Get well soon!

  2. sjolly says:

    I’m back and I’m better! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

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