Friday, December 25, 2009

I Needed a Break, Until I Got One

Since Thanksgiving, I'd been busy traveling, entertaining visitors, buying holiday gifts, attending to Cosmo's latest health crisis, and working. I looked forward to a hiatus around Christmas. With the gifts all mailed and Cosmo back to good health, I planned to luxuriate in my free time, get on a regular exercise schedule, work on a deferred web project, enjoy some Netflix dvds, and read more books. Most of our friends would either be traveling or busy with family, so they wouldn't be available to lure me with social temptations.

I'm now almost a week into my break. For the first few days, it was a relief not to have any plans, but for the past day or two, I've felt at loose ends. On reflection, I realize this is a pattern I've repeated throughout my life—I long for solitude, then, once I have it, I miss the conviviality of others. Not that it's exactly solitude I'm experiencing. I live with my husband (henceforth to be known as E), after all. Yesterday, we took a bracing five-mile walk and stopped for lunch at a lovely outdoor restaurant, where we ran into some acquaintances. I can't leave my building without a friendly greeting from a neighbor or two. So, I'm not exactly alone.

And my email life is as active as ever. I love being able to keep in touch with far-flung friends and family on a regular basis. I have no desire to curtail that activity, even for a few days.

Still, with no social plans until New Year's Eve, life has begun to feel a little dull. No dinner out with friends to anticipate, no excursions to South Beach, no ping pong extravaganzas. Adding to my malaise, another pattern that I recognize all too well has emerged. With more time on my hands, I'm getting far less done.

Yesterday, just as I was beginning to feel a bit desperate, I was saved by a phone call. It was Eric's cousin, calling to say he's in town, at his condo less than an hour away. We'd hoped he would show up at some point this winter but we had no idea when. News of his arrival immediately brightened my spirits. We arranged to spend tomorrow with him and then take it from there.

Before you know it, I'll probably be yearning for another hiatus. Maybe one of these days, I'll find the perfect balance. For now, though, I'll take things one social event at a time.

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