I am dropped off at the hotel and wheel my pink carry-on up the escalator to the front desk, heart beating like I was on my way to a hot date. In a sense, I am. My 24 hours alone start now. An exciting date with myself. The pressure wells up inside. I want to make every single minute count and questions about what I should choose to do bounce in my head. My room is not ready so I go for a stroll. I’ll have lunch. I always do better with food in my tummy.
The hostess leads me to an outdoor’s table, the best one in the house she says. The view of Waikiki beach does not disappoint. The turquoise water gleams under the sun, who made a grand appearance despite the forecast of a storm and rain for the next few days. I am content. I pull out a book. A novel. I haven’t read fiction in months. I’m so giddy I can’t concentrate on the words. All the other tables are occupied. The patrons’ chatter, the kids’ splashes in the pool and the clinking of silverware create quite the background noise.
I’ll read in my room later.
There was a moment yesterday when I wavered and almost asked the whole family to join me for the entire vacation. Was it selfish to tell my 6 year old daughter that mommy needs some time alone? All 24 hours of it. Would she think that I don’t love her, that I like it better without her? I silenced the voice and stuck to the plan. 24 hours per year. A day to myself to think thoughts. Uninterrupted. To eat food. Uninterrupted. To sleep and sleep in. Uninterrupted.
I’m not sure what it is teaching my daughter but I could do worse than go for a day of rest and leave her with daddy and plans of sushi eating, play dates and very likely fun times with a dog (her favorite). Tomorrow we will all be together again.
My own program includes luxuriating in a hot bath. I packed dark chocolate. A bottle of wine may or may not make an appearance.
I loaded the Ipad with movies, checked that my Netflix was in order and dropped the charger in the bag. I will most likely go to bed late with the comforting thought that there will be no countdown to a wake up call. Not this time.
These are the wild dreams of a 40 year old mother and I am blessed with a husband who makes my dreams come true.
Should the doubts return, I will tell myself what I would tell any dear friend in need of a pep talk. “Let go of the guilt mama. You deserve it. Enjoy every second.”
And so I will!
Do you ever get alone time? How do you feel about it? Share in the comment section below.