Alone and okay

I spent the past weekend watching rain pour down outside. And I’m not referring to scattered thunderstorm rain. I’m talking animals pairing up and boarding the ark kind of rain. Which eventually turned to snow. As so many of us often do, I took shelter from the rain in the things that make me feel warm and safe.

Had a particularly awful day at work on Friday. That night, I was supposed to go see Matty at Tyber Creek. I actually got dressed and drove up there. But when I got there, there was a big tent outside, more than one band playing, nowhere to park, and I really wasn’t in the mood to deal with crowds of people. So I turned around and drove the 20 minutes back home (right now, this is the only disadvantage to having my own place that I’ve been able to dig up), then stayed up watching bad TV until 2:30 in the morning. Finally convinced myself to go to bed, knowing I had to run the next morning.

I was up at 6:30, feeling fairly wide awake. The rain was already coming down outside. Running in the rain isn’t as bad as it sounds if it’s not freezing…it actually feels really refreshing. It wasn’t terribly cold, so I put on shorts. Did my pre-run ritual of Red Bull, advil and a piece of peanut butter toast. Threw on a hat so I wouldn’t get totally soaked. Stretched. Then was off to meet Brad.

I know it sounds sadistic, but I’ve really come to appreciate my Saturday morning runs. I work out all of my frustrations from the week, focus on breathing, and sometimes talk things out. When it’s a big group of us, the conversation is light and we often switch around, running with one buddy for a mile, then changing up. Not everyone comes to run every week; we all have obligations. But Brad is the most consistent, and he and I talk about lots of different things while we run. Religion. Politics. Music. Movies. Life in general. He’s a fantastic athlete, so running with him usually pushes me past my comfort zone, which is a good thing. And runs with Brad fly by…literally, they’re over before I know it. We ran six miles on Saturday AM, raining the whole way. But it was a really great run and I was super charged up when it was over, so I headed home to put on dry clothes and get some errands done.

And boy, did I ever. Two grocery stores (coupons, people…I saved some serious dough!), Walmart (ugh), Target, Sprint store to drop off three old phones for recycling, Pier One to shop for a bookshelf (which I found but couldn’t bring home due to the torrent outside), dropped off two boxes of books to a used book store, Lowe’s for some around-the-apartment stuff, Office Max to get mix CD supplies, and finally, home again.

And that’s when I became a hermit for the rest of the weekend. It was just one of those dreary outside weekends that made it so easy to curl up and hibernate, indulging in all of those things of comfort that make the world seem a little bit better. I ate way too many Rice Krispie treats. I watched back episodes of Burn Notice and NCIS. I fell asleep on the couch at 7:30 PM on Saturday and didn’t move until 5 AM, when I woke up and crawled into my bed.

And Sunday? I spent the entire day reading and making chili. It was so fabulous. I devoured Twilight. Easy read, good story – and the weather was the perfect backdrop for it. Read it cover to cover between 10 AM and 7 PM. I can’t remember the last time I just sat and read for hours like that. It was fairly spectacular.

Just about the time I finished the book, the snow started to fall. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend of solitude. I needed it to recharge my batteries (March is a busy month), and it prodded me to promise myself that I’ll spend more time doing things I forget that I love. Reading. Cooking. Writing.

I spend so much of my time worrying about being by myself. I DO spend a lot of time doing things solo, and it can get disheartening. In fact, more often than not, it makes me sad. I love being around people that I love (and sometimes, even ones I just like!). However, I’m so glad this rainy weekend came so early on in my new abode…to remind me of the simple pleasures of being alone.

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