Two Days in Solitude

It’s turned into somewhat of a ritual…

A day or two after I make an appearance at the in-laws on Christmas, I sneak home “solo” for a couple of days by myself. I usually make up some lame excuse about “having to take care of the dogs”… or “needing to pay year-end property taxes” (the one I used last year) — but the outcome is always the same.

I get to spend two days by myself.

Until just now, I had no idea the kitchen floor creaks, or the heating unit makes a noise. I need to get the refrigerator compressor checked. Wow, it’s loud.

I figure this is a win-win situation. They won’t admit it, but certainly my in-laws cherish spending time with their daughter and grandchildren — without the pesky son-in-law (me) hanging around.

And, to be honest… this time by myself is a treasured break from the pressures of life. Something I’m already looking forward to 364 days from now.

How I use this time…

Instead of wasting time watching TV, I use this opportunity to review my goals from the previous year, and to make new ones for the next. One of my biggest goals last year was to “choose simple.” In every situation I asked myself this question:

Is there a simpler way to do the task before me that would yield similar results?

In most cases the answer was YES. And in most situations, that’s the path I followed. My life (and the lives of those closest to me) got better once I figured this out.

Two days in solitude taught me what a lifetime in noise couldn’t. Perfectionism is an excuse to procrastinate. Perfectionism steels. Simple is better.

Solitude can be a beautiful thing.