Thursday, August 28, 2008

ALONE TIME

by Suzanne Welsh

My husband is out of town this week, so I've got the house all to myself. While I miss his company immensely, I love being alone.


Mind you, I didn't say I like being lonely. In fact, I rarely feel lonely. Between the internet which allows me to chat with all the Banditas; my AOL chats with my sister, mother and at least two of my kids; and the phone which rings constantly with people worried about the state of my estate, my FHA loan rate and my need for exotic vacations in places no one has ever heard of, I'd say I have plenty of contact with people. In fact, at my work people leave their nice warm comfy beds just to come to see me...patients because of their labor and doctors because I took the time to call them! And then there is the gaggle of nurses, who love to chat into the wee hours of the night! All these interactions with others is good and provides fodder for both story ideas and characterizations.



No, I'm rarely lonely, but I do enjoy having time for me and my thoughts. I enjoy putzing around the house in my pajamas with no one home to wonder if I'm "getting dressed" today. Rocky, the wonder dog, doesn't mind at all! He knows that jammies mean one of two things. Either I'm writing all day or we're heading back to bed for a long nap at some point.



When I'm home during the daytime the television is never on. The CD player on the other hand is. I enjoy listening to mood music while I write. In an action scene? Usually you'll hear some ZZTop or Lynard Skynard pounding out in my office. A sexy scene? Some Sade or Alison Krauss.


Having alone time in the evenings allows me some freedom to catch up on reruns of The Closer, NCIS (a very cool, underrated show in my opinion) or any CSI, and the latest Project Runway (did y'all see last nights outfits?!)...I already have my hopeful finalists picked out!


And then there's the reading!! OMG...let's see I just finished Sherrilyn Kenyon's ACHERON,(absolutely loved it) and am reading Sophie Jordan's TOO WICKED TO TAME, (very good so far!). SLAVE by Cheryl Brooks is next on my list.

One other project I'm starting this week is a scrapbook for a Christmas present for one of my daughters. (can't tell you which one since they occasionally read this blog!)


So do you enjoy having alone time? When you do, what do you indulge in?

62 comments:

Kestrel said...

mine?

Kestrel said...

Wow, cool!

It's funny you ask about alone time, because I am having some right now at the moment...
Just got home from work, checking in on my blog and over here, hoping I might get some writing in while its nice and quiet before the kiddies start coming home...

My alone time is a chance to turn off the tv, read a book, write without interruptions, and maybe clean the house with no one to mess it up immediately (ok, not the cleaning part so much)... But I enjoy the rare moments of quiet I get which are usually in the middle of the night, so this is nice... Enjoy your alone time too!

Terry Odell said...

I love alone time. As a matter of fact, I've got this weekend to be on my own. No cooking, nothing lying around that I didn't put there. No schedule. And I have about 4 episodes of The Closer to catch up on myself, plus I'm watching the US Open. And I love being able to deal with insomnia by reading in bed at 3 am if I wake up.

jo robertson said...

Ah alone time -- it's more precious than rubies and more valuable than gold!

Mainly because when I'm alone the remote is MINE!! Mine, all mine, I tell you. It's not that I want to watch TV that much either. It's about the control. It's about NOT channel flipping constantly. It's about . . .

Yeah, I like my alone time.

Thank goodness Dr. Big is an athletic wonder at his age in the sport of golf and he's very good at it. Golf as you may know takes a minimum of 3 1/2 to 4 hours to play an 18-hole round. Plus the driving time.

I LURVE my husband's golfing.

Okay, big confession, I love to walk naked around the house, which at my age, is not a pretty sight. I figure it's genetic because my mom was doing it at age 75. There's something freeing and well . . . cool . . . and KEWL about it. So yeah, I like my alone time.

In fact, I hardly know a woman who doesn't like her alone time, regardless of what she fills it with.

MsHellion said...

I *love* having alone time, and usually if I'm alone, I take the opportunity to watch all the stuff on dishnetwork that I'm not allowed to watch during the Baseball season. (No Lifetime channel stuff, I have standards. Okay, I don't like crying, so that's why I skip that channel.)

And if I'm alone, I like to roam around half-clothed, say my underwear, which you can't normally do if you live with people or have company visiting. I'm weird, I know.

terrio said...

I like being alone. Though I'm a talker so too much alone time makes me a little antsy. And there's always the danger I will eat my way through my alone time. So if I'm alone, I generally go somewhere.

My hamster and parakeet get talked to a lot while Kiddo is gone. I'm sure they think I'm nuts. :)

Joan said...

Well, I live alone so....nothing really to compare it to.

But I find if I'm alone for TOO long...like a 3-4 day weekend with no contact from the bro, (or his cat, Citrus), friends are busy or out of town, I'm not at work (allelulia) I don't like it.

I am at heart a social person and more than 3 days without conversation? Miserable.

So...what cha'll doing?

terrio said...

See, Joan, that's me too. My poor mom knows when I've had no one to talk to because she gets like four calls a day. LOL! We should live closer together. :)

flchen1 said...

Suz, I love alone time :) Give me a stack from my TBR and easy-to-eat food and I'm a happy camper!

Congrats on the GR, Kestrel!

Virginia said...

I love having alone time. My hubby works 12 hour shifts, so he is home several days a week and drives me crazy. Always wanting to know what am I going to fix him to eat. He has the TV so loud I have to put ear plugs in my ears to read. I love the same shows that you do on TV NCIS and the Closer. So yes I love my alone time.

Cassondra said...

I'M OFF WORK I'M OFF WORK YEEESSSSS!

Oh...Uh....

Ahem...

Alone time. Yeah. I like it. Need it. Get a little nuts if I can't get it. Usually I read, or I write. Or sometimes I pour a glass of wine (or coffee, depending on the time of day) and pull a stool up to my kitchen counter and stare out the window above the sink. It's a big window. On purpose.

When we started this house restoration, I saw that window and said, "Nope. Not big enough." So we cut the hole in the wall bigger, framed a new (BIGGER) window, and installed double casements. Five feet wide and Four feet tall all together. It's amazing the solitude that exists out those windows. A pond. Cows. Birds in the bird bath and at the feeders, The EVIL squirrel that would threaten the house if the dogs didn't stay on alert. And at those times, absolute quiet. So quiet I can hear the dirt dobber flying across the living room (and I'm in the kitchen and they are not, by nature, noisy).

I sit and I stare and I drink good coffee or good wine and I just BE.

That's my favorite alone time. Time to just "be." I actually have to steal this time--if I do this, it means something else isn't getting done. :0/

Cassondra said...

OOOOO. Terrio!

Love the shoe avatar.

Donna MacMeans said...

Kestrel - congrats on the GR. Is that a new avatar? I don't recall seeing it before, but I admit I've had my head down working.

Terrio - Love the shoe avatar. Definitely cool.

Suz - First let me say GO BUCKS! (first game this weekend)
Now that that's out of my system,,,
I live with my dh and two adult children and have a lot of alone time as I work out of my home. I love it. I only have the TV on if it's tax season. Otherwise, it's too much of a distraction from my story world that I love to live in.

Now if dh is gone at night, my guilty pleasure is piling his side of the bed with books and projects so I can do that stuff without leaving the comfort of my bed. Plus I get to turn the TV off (he likes to sleep with it on - and wakes up if I turn it off. We compromise by muting it at night, but if he's not there - the whole thing goes dark - Yay). Oh - and a DQ Blizzard always makes the missing him part go down easier *g*

Annie Solomon said...

Hey, bandits. I'm putting your link on my website and the person who does it said she went onto the site and it wasn't a blog or some such, so I had to go check it out to make sure I wasn't crazy. And lo...here you are. And of course I couldn't help reading about alone time, and just HAD to give another shout out to NICS. I was turned onto it by MarieNicole Ryan, one of my pals, who has the same TV tastes that I do (ABC soaps, Nikita, and now NCIS). Very relaxing, and not as intense as some of my other obsessions. I'm also a Closer fan. But when I'm alone I watch cheesy SciFi action movies or cheesy BBC miniseries. House of Elliot anyone?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Kestrel! Mega congrats on getting the Golden Rooster for the day!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Kestrel it's amazing how much we can covet that rare alone time, especially when we have school-age kids. I loved having all my kids, but they were all talkers...every last single one of them, (and still are). So having them in school gave me such a mental break and even now I love having them here, but love it when they go home, too!

Suzanne Welsh said...

ooooooooo Terri, how did you manage an entire weekend alone? I used to send my gang off to my MIL with my hubby...I'd volunteer to work the weekend, then have about 6 hours each day to myself!!

Enjoy your reading time!! And what are you going to read?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Jo, I KNOW you appreciate that alone time after raising all those kids! And these days I think I know why women encourage their spouses to take up golfing, tournament bowling or bass fishing. Because those guys who "need" our attention are occupied for looooooooooooong hours every weekend!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Ms. Hellion! I know, I miss quite a bit of TV during Baseball season, but wouldn't give up watching my Indians for anything...(they've gotten themselves out of the AL central basement, finally!)

You and Jo, walking around in your underwear.......hehehe...I've been known to strip in the laundry room and walk naked to the shower after work if no one is home!

terrio said...

*turns avatar left and right*

These old things? You like them? LOL! I couldn't pass them up. Very Marilyn.

Cassandra - I'm jealous of that window. I might actually do dishes by hand if I had that.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Ah, Terrio, I'm a talker, too. (Just ask any of the Banditas.) So when I need to talk, I tend to do it on line, OR I call my mom or one of my CP's here in town. (Except one is in the deadline cave.)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Joanie!!

I used to say I went to work to have some intelligent adult conversation when the gang was small. Now I happily go to learn all the latest music trends, (coz they ain't on my IPOD!), the newest purse craze, (I like my Liz Claborne, thank you very much) and which person is in love and which one is out of love, (my own personal Peyton Place!)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Grinning at Fedora........sooooo, what's in your TBR pile queue today?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oh Virginia I completely understand the having the hubby home for long stretches thing. Mine is a self-employed contractor, which means he'll pop in and out all day some days.........Or......stand in my office doorway. Just stand there. And when I ask him what he needs...."oh nothing"...OR, he'll ask me why I'm not writing........????

Suzanne Welsh said...

ooooooooo Cassondra, can I come stare out your window? I do that when I go home to visit my parents. I just stand at the kitchen window and watch the colore leaves rustle in the wind, or the slow autumn rain. (I always go home in the fall.) And watch the squirrels and chipmonks and rabbits. (Rocky the wonder dog keeps our yard free of all those dangerous type animals...and the occasional coyote.)

Suzanne Welsh said...

hey Donna...........GO BUCKS!!

Girlfriend I'll be watching on TV here, (I'm only on call Sat night). Football is one of the rare times my TV is on during the day!! Or when my Indians are playing a day game and I'm off.

I'd go crazy if the TV were on in my room at night. In fact I need every light in the house off to sleep at night. Weird I know since I sleep during the day half of my life! As for books in the bed...well, I have a few there this week, but the 80 pound dog is protesting me laying them on top of him while he sleeps beside me...something he doesn't do if DH is home.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

LOL Suz,
My DH does the same thing! Stands in the doorway of my office (or worse comes in and sits down), invading my space, and then wants to know why I'm NOT writing!

Congrats on the GR, Kestrel. Don't let him get YOU alone! ;-)

AC

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Annie Solomon, glad you have us on you site!!

And isn't NCIS just the coolest? I'd really, really, really like to see Abby and McGee get together...maybe secretively. Well not as secretively as the assistant medical examiner and the junior agent (which is funny), but Abby and McGee are so good together........and did you see the final episode this year?!?!?! What's up with that?!?!

Suzanne Welsh said...

OMG, AC it's worse than that. The exercise bike is in my office, mostly beacuse I don't have anywhere else to put it, and quite frankly the thing is harmless until HE comes in...

He does this exercise PACE program, where he rides as hard as he can for 8 seconds...breathing like he's having a 50lb baby... and then wants to know why I'm not writing.......excuse me...I'm wondering how up to date my CPR skills are, that's freaking why!

Kestrel said...

Hey everyone, thanks for the congrats on the GR, I was very surprised, y'all are usually so quick to nab him... No worries, I have my cat named Kitty keeping him contained... for the moment... :)

Yes, this is a new avatar, it is the main character from a comic series called 'Aria'... I was told once I looked like this picture, and since she looks so fierce, I'll agree! (hahaha)

I like Hellion's avatar too, and a good pair of black heels like Terri has always comes in handy...

As far as TV shows go, my secret shame is American Idol... but I absolutely adore 'House', the writers for that show are brilliant, and Hugh Laurie is great! I have a semi-crush on House, he's such an a**, but gosh, he's wicked smart and his delivery is impeccable...

Cassondra, I want your window...

Donna, my DH has to have the tv on at night too, it took me a long time to get used to, but if he's not home, I leave it on cuz I hate sleeping alone...

Gannon Carr said...

Congrats on nabbing the GR, Kestrel!

As much as I love to socialize (I'm a talker, too), I crave alone time. I love to read in bed (don't do it when the hubby's around since he can't sleep with ANY light on), stay in my PJ's, watch whatever I want on TV, and eat whatever I want. Best of all, I don't have to listen to anyone complain or argue--with three kids in the house, that last one is a regular event! I love my family, but if I don't get some regular "me" time, I'm not a happy camper.

Jane said...

Wtg, Kestrel.

I like to spend my free time slacking off by lying on the couch to read or watch tv. I love catching old NCIS episodes on USA and Law & Order on TNT. I can watch the LOTR trilogy and Wedding Crashers over and over again.

Natalie Hatch said...

I can't remember time alone, I think it was back when there was only black and white television and the dinosaurs were still running around the earth (they liked to do marathons) and they didn't have toothbrushes (no not the dinosaurs, humans, silly, a TRexs arms are too small to reach up and really brush his teeth well). Back in the OLDEN DAYS... these are some things my children have accused me of (being old)....
I have six hours today to myself and it's bliss, I get time alone to write like a bat out of hell (though what it's doing writing instead of flying we'll never know).
Okay enough of cliches, one day my parenting full time will be over and I'll miss it terribly, I promise, but as of today I like time alone.

Anna Campbell said...

Kestrel, the chook has visited the hawk's nest! Please send him back to us in one piece!

Suz, what a great post! Having just had two massive conferences very close together, I'm really looking forward to some alone time - partly because I have to finish a book! Hey, Annie, House of Elliot was incredibly popular over here in Oz. Weren't the clothes to die for? I must say my preferred activity for time alone is to dive into the TBR pile.

Beth said...

Suz, I adore alone time! Unfortunately, I haven't had it in over a year since my husband works from home *g* But getting the kids out of the house for a few hours a day while the hubby works in his shop is pretty close :-)

I used to waste my alone time but now I'm very strict about getting my writing done while the house is quiet.

Helen said...

Congrats on the GR Kestrel

Great post Suz I love time alone on my own I too have the radio or CD player on depends what I am doing as to what CD I have on if I am getting the dredded housework done I have some good rock on to keep me moving if I am reading something nice and slow.

I also love NCIS never miss it and I love CSI and Law and Order Australian Idol has just started the new season here and I love that as well.

At the moment I am reading Suzanne Enoch's Before The Scandal great book and I have 9 books on order that should arrive in the next week or so one of them being Christines I am really looking forward to that one and Nalini Singhs next one in the psy changeling series YAY so I am going to need some Helen time to get these read .

Have Fun
Helen

Gillian Layne said...

I LOVE alone time...I'm freaking out today cause Friday's usually my "be alone" day--no work, no kids--but the school decided to give them a vacation! Ack!

We are rabid NCIS fans, Suzanne!! We own all the boxed sets and love every little scene with Abby in it. Are you as excited about the series premier this year as we are?

Gillian Layne said...

Kestrel, that avar is gorgeous!:)

Gillian Layne said...

Ummm...a-VA-tar is gorgeous...I can't type with Cheez-It dust all over my fingers (the new Duoz flavor, yum!)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Gannon, that's when alone time is the best...when you really need it to regroup yourself. After a few days, then I'm ready to be back among the family, the hubby, heck even the girls at work!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Jane! Wow, I'm finding lots of NCIS fans here...Okay, I have a confession, I've had a crush on Mark Harmon since.........(dating myself)...since he played college football!

And his role as Jethro...okay, that's a very horrible name....well the man is very, very easy on the eyes, isn't he?

Suzanne Welsh said...

LOL Natalie, my son used to say I was older than dirt...of course that prompted the question "How old is dirt" which he'd reply..."Younger than you!"

You know, if God asked mother of young kids which they'd rather have, a million dollars or 3 hours each week of alone time, I think he'd get some interesting answers!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Anna! I know you've got to be exhausted with two major conferences and all the travel involved in one month's time! Even at conference I find I need to find a spot to just sit and be me...usually involving an hour or two in the hotel room. Talk about togetherness!!

(Now get in the cave and finish that book!)

Suzanne Welsh said...

OMG Beth...having the DH home fulltime...drives me nuts! How are you managing to survive it? And get books written?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oooooooo Helen, I've been wanting to get Susan Enoch's Before the Scandal. But looking at the TBR pile I don't dare buy anymore until I read at least a week's worth! (that would be 7 books). And enjoy Christine's new one! I hear it's fabulous...(maybe that could be my excuse for going to the bookstore tonight?)

Suzanne Welsh said...

OMG Gillian...YES! I absoloutely have to know how they writers of NCIS are gonna fix the problem they made for the team at the end of this season!!

limecello said...

Suzanne, I love being home alone! It doesn't happen *too* often -and it's just nice to have quiet and no people there making demands on your time. Of course will cellphones and such time gets disrupted a lot.
Hehe - and to be juvenile - this post made me think of something some friends said in college. One was really excited her roommates were gone for the weekend, and another said "now you get to walk around naked!"

Dina said...

My alone time is spent on the computer, oh wait, that's everyday anyway, lol.

I read when I can when I'm alone and go to movies too. I live alone, so technically I always have some alone time. :)

Denise Rossetti said...

Hey Banditas! I'm finally back home after weeks of travel in British Columbia and Alaska. Gosh, it was hard, but someone has to do it. *g* Was fabulous to meet you all in San Francisco and thanks for making me so welcome in the Lair.

I love my time alone, but I know I'd hate to live alone or spend too much time without human contact. I'm a shocking extrovert, I am. But the moment I had kids, I got desperate for time to just be ME - and not someone's mother. I used to stay up late once they were in bed, even though I was sooo tired, just for the peace.

These days, I still love time to hang out. Puss keeps me company and I get to use the WHOLE of the bed! I especially like sleeping slap bang in the middle.

Then there's catching up with the West Wing. What can I say? I'm hopeless. I've only just discovered it and I'm enthralled.

jo robertson said...

Yes, Suz, with 7 children I probably appreciate alone time more than most people. There was a whole decade when I couldn't potty in peace LOL.

Denise, weldome back! You are in for a treat if you've just discovered West Wing. Aaron Sorkin is a God, I tell you. Those early seasons are the best. Have fun!

Anna Campbell said...

Welcome back, Denise! We missed you in Melbourne!

Terry Odell said...

Suzanne, if you meant "Terry" when you asked "Terri" your question:
DH has to work on a research project out of town. He's leaving tomorrow AM early, back Sunday evening sometime.

I've got a JA Jance to finish, then a couple of JD Robbs, a Lee Child, a Lawrence Block, and I HAVE to make more headway on my manuscript -- I've been dealing with a trip to the dentist plus countless customer service issues (anyone who keeps up with my blog will know what they are), plus I have the annual "poke and prod" appointment tomorrow with my friendly gyn, but I also scheduled a massage as a treat.

Joan said...

Denise,

It was fantastic meeting you in SF! We didn't get to "hang out" much but I'm thinking we'd would have had fun!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey limecello!! Seems to be a concensus among the Banditas and our BBs that we like to walk around naked or in our underwear when we're home!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Dina...seems like I'm spending more time on the computer, but then I'm trying to get my page count up while hubby is gone...which will force me to write the next sex scene in the erotica....poor me!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Denise, glad the trip was a good one! I'd love to travel up that way...maybe take a cruise some day.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hehe Jo, today I was showering and all of a sudden a little black nose poked around the shower curtain...I guess Rocky the wonder dog was wondering where I was!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oooo Terry, a massage after the poke and prod appointment would almost make it worth it, wouldn't it?

Louisa Cornell said...

Congrats on the GR, Kestrel! Have fun with him and keep an eye on him. He's a wascally fella!

Like Joan, I live alone so I have as much or as little alone time as I want most of the time. So many people ask me if I get scared or lonely out here in the middle of nowhere. Actually, no. That is part of the reason I MOVED out to the middle of nowhere. So I could be alone when I want to be alone. I am perfectly safe and do not get lonely as I share this five acres with nine rescued dogs in runs outside and three small dogs and four cats in the house. How could I get lonely??

Then I have all of my buddies online, my CPs, my local writers' group. I work in such a crowded noisy environment that the peace and quiet I find out here is the only thing that keeps me sane.

My previous career was a real adrenaline rush, constant movement, deadlines, rehearsals wide open living. I loved every minute of it. BUT, I love what I do now just as much. I was an opera singer. I AM a writer.

I sit on my porch early in the mornings on my days off and sip some earl gray and just drink in the beauty and simplicity that is my home.

And my dogs also know that if I don't get dressed we are hanging out at the house while Mom writes and there IS a nap in our future!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Louisa!

Those dogs and cats do know our habits, don't they? In fact they keep the alone time from being too lonely.

Caren Crane said...

Kestrel, congrats on nabbing the Golden Rooster! Have fun and don't let him ruin your alone hours.

When alone, I love to listen to music and, best of all, have movie marathons. I grew up in a large family and don't do "alone" very well. I love the thought of it, but the reality can become a bit...dull. I enjoy the energy and company of others - on my terms.

I like to take myself out to movies. The first time I did that I was 20 and went to the first showing of the day of "The Color Purple". I was pregnant and hormonal and completely ALONE in the movie theater. I cried my eyes out! I watched the movie again in recent months and felt...not a tenth of the emotion I did then. I think all that aloneness (and the hormones, of course) make the experience something special.

I love being alone. But always and ever in moderation. *g*

Anna Lucia said...

It's funny you should post this, because I'm coming to it from the other direction.

Today I blogged about the fact that for the first time in 7 years, Husband and I both have weekends off.

Used to be he'd be working when I was off, and vice versa.

I can be incredibly productive in my alone time, but it really palls. More often than not I'd end up feeling down.

I'm looking forward to lie-ins together, breakfast together, doing chores and household projects together. Just being together in ways many couples take for granted.

I feel so lucky!

Of course, then I'm going to have to start defending my writing time, and seeking time alone, but until that comes, I'm happy to enjoy being really, really domesticated.