This post was inspired by the novel If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie, about a boy who’s never been outside, thanks to his mother’s agoraphobia, but ventures outside in order to solve a mystery. Join From Left to Write on January 22nd as we discuss If I Fall, If I Die. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
I recently did a stint on bed rest and spent weeks in my bed or wandering between just a few rooms in my house. Everything that put me there – pain, surgery, the fear around those things – was awful. Staying in bed and being pretty restricted in what I was allowed to do? Turns out I’m pretty good at that.
I was proud of myself for reaching out to a lot of people and letting them know I’d be down for the count and my friends and family were awesome. That’s not really my style to put my vulnerability out there for others to witness. The response and support I received showed me it was the right thing to do. I got lots of notes, flowers, gifts and visits. I felt loved and am grateful for all of that contact. It helped tremendously.
The flip side to that is how happy I was doing nothing. I made up routines that were goofy and To Do lists that were nonsensical. Read 100 pages. Watch two episodes of Orphan Black. Write thank you notes. Take a shower. Doing all four of those thing would have really been a big day for me.
I’m back in good health and out in the world. I’ve returned to work and am doing pretty much whatever I choose. I am a much better conversationalist now when my husband comes home from work because I have actual things I did during the day of which I can speak. I have much more empathy now for people going through health situations and a greater respect for the power of friendship to make those experiences easier.
But. I sort of miss the solitude.
It’s not just being back at work and having actual things to do throughout the day, although I am sure that’s part of it. (The break was really nice.) I just don’t have the same opportunities to hole up by myself.
Next weekend my husband will be away with friends and I am so excited. (He knows this, so it’s okay to admit. He feels similarly when it happens in reverse.) I will get a weekend all by myself. I’ll do very little. I’ll watch the TV shows I want, read books, eat foods of my preference. Alone. All of these things I can do when he’s around, mind you. But with solitude… Somehow it’s better. Especially since it’s an occasional treat and not my status quo.
This time around the solitude will be better than what I had on bed rest. No pain!
This post originally appeared on Kate’s Point of View. © Kate. All rights reserved.