Autism Watch: 2007

You Need Time for Yourself

Posted on: December 17, 2008

How many of us hear that? (Though maybe I guess the bigger question is: how many of us get that?)

I hear it all the time. While I agree all moms do, especially moms who are blessed with special kids, it’s not all its cracked up to be. Let me tell you.

Yesterday, I was able to attend a training program for my employment. Not counting the long drive due to traffic (we’re talking a 430am alarm) I’m really glad I did it. (And even with traffic, I’m still glad I did it.) Us telecommuters, any drives are a change, but if you throw in 1.5-3 hours one-way, we might go cross-eyed for a second. Anyway, the training program was excellent and I really do think I learned a lot of applicable tips. After training was completed, it was recommended to me by several co-workers who live close by that I hang around in the area for a couple of hours, or I’d just be sitting on the freeway for a couple of hours extra. I chose to hang out. I envisioned myself walking around this beautifully decorated outdoor area, strolling along, having a leisurely dinner…ahhh, sounds nice, eh?

Fast forward to leaving the training. I headed for the Citywalk, with its gorgeous Christmas trees, huge neon sculptures, and loud but perfectly fitting Christmas music. Ahhhh. I wandered through some stores, picked up some souvenirs for the kids, and headed back up the other side to some stores I’d not been in yet. I also was scoping out restaurants for my nice uninterrupted dinner. Then it hit me. Everyone in all those restaurants was either a couple or a family, boisterously enjoying their time together. Couples clanking wine glasses together, kids with sparkles in their eyes (so they were reflections from the Christmas lights everywhere, who cares) and tourists excited about their day. Me, I’m alone. No real shopping bags to speak of, no interest in wine when I’ve got a long drive ahead of me, and <sniff> my little ones at home wishing I was there. Suddenly, having a leisurely dinner really wasn’t as exciting.

So, what do I do? I turn to the next best thing: texting. I’d already called dh earlier, and he told me that bb had an awesome day, with news he wanted to tell me on his own. When he started talking to me, he sounded SO much older than his newly-eight-years age. Sniff. He wanted to tell me that they had their school party today, the prize for those who sold a lot in the fundraiser. He won the grand prize! He also grabbed another $20 in the ‘money blowing around in a phone-booth-type box’ game. It made his day.

I text my oldest dd. That didn’t last long, she had things to do. I text some friends. However, none of it makes up for the fact I’m sitting alone in a Tony Roma’s enjoying a really good salad..alone. Sounds nice, I know, and so did my friends who weren’t as appreciative of my plight. Hmmph. Thirty-five minutes later, because, really, how long can you drag out a salad, and I was on my way to the car. Smooth sailing for all of three minutes, then traffic. Wasn’t this the whole reason for my foray around Citywalk?

In the end, I did get to check out the whole Citywalk and found some amazing things, if it weren’t Christmas and I hadn’t already completed all my shopping and then some. I found some other restaurants I could eat in next time, but I’ll need to bring a book at least. As good as it all was, the best part of my day was the hug when I saw ds that evening….at 8:55pm. Long day, I’m tired, but that hug was the bestest.

If you get time by yourself, take it. Just plan better than me. You need the time, but wasting it feeling lonely or wishing you had more to do detracts from the experience. It’s all in the details.

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1 Response to "You Need Time for Yourself"

I think you might understand, because none of the NTs I know do. I used to go to new York City to escape. I had a few places I went to every time I went there.

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