The last time I was alone in my house for a weekend it was Easter weekend. My housemates were away with their families. It was my last weekend in Newcastle for 6 months. My friends threw me a massive surprise goodbye party because of my soon-to-be departure. Six months went by and now a month or two back in the house we have called home for the last year and a half, and I am by myself again for a weekend.
What do I do this time around with the solace?
I fill it.
I fill my time with excursions, people, things to do. I did that weekend back in April. I wasn’t alone for a stitch of the weekend really. There was always someone or a party of someone’s around. I did that yesterday too. I filled my time with people. It was good. But today.. I made a change. I decided to retreat to my house and just be on my own. I am not always good at doing that. Even to my own detriment.
I can be on my own, but rarely when I am home. It is always at a park or on the beach or in a coffee shop. But the buzz of the coffee shop or the people around you in the park can still remind you people are there. This time I carved out Sunday and spent most of the day in my house on my own before the later than usual 8pm service I would go to at my church.
This is not a bright idea for you introverts out there. Hannah, my best friend is thinking.. that is a normal weekend for me! But for me, I need to be reminded, that filling the time is not always the best use of it. It is in the silence I can wrestle with the real things going on in life, the hard things, the pain, sin, doubts, questions, hopes that I can’t do when I am busy. I spent the day reflecting on some massive questions, and reading books, and listening and being quiet and cleaning.
I love people and am pretty extroverted by nature which is why I will usually choose to fill my time rather than spend it alone or vegging out. I spent the last weekend I was in the Toon alone filled with people time because I was going away for 6 months and couldn’t bare to miss a second with people I loved and cared about. If there is me on my own or me with you. I choose you. If it is me on my own or me with party, I usually choose party.
I think I sometimes fill my time because I am afraid of the silence, the inactivity. If there are difficult things going on in my life, I can use the avoidance to avoid the hard conversations I need to have with the Lord. I need to have those right now. Often when things are hard, I can avoid resting the way I should (why I do that I have no idea!). I can substitute people for God. They can try and make me feel better meanwhile the little things He wants to say to my heart or the rest He wants to give me or the discipline of solace I need to learn or the talents (finish how many songs I have started this year)I should cultivate, I avoid instead.. because of fear? Busyness? Loneliness?
So a day by myself it was. It was well spent. I think I should like to have another soon. I need space to work out some things in life and sometimes they can only be done when the quietness sets in.