I’ve had ample time alone this week. An introverted mom’s dream.
We recently closed on our house – that’s a long story for another time – and I woke from the dream that we were going to get the keys and move right in! Having made our offer on the house back in April, I had forgotten a lot of the significant details about the condition of the house.
I felt like the first week of homeownership was one huge setback after another.
So I’ve had lots of time to get acquainted with the house through working on fixing it up – lots of alone time.
And shouldn’t this time just thrill me and meet my longing for alone time? Don’t I regularly think if I could just have more time alone, then I could feel better.
There’s a strange tension in the heart of an introverted mother that goes something like: I love my children and I want to be the one to be with them and meet their needs, but I also am a woman and I want to be without them so that my own needs are met.
Needs like: completing a thought, maintaining privacy while getting ready for the day, listening to music or audiobooks that fill me, sitting to sip tea and rest, and planning our activities for the next season so that we aren’t bouncing from one event to the next.
It takes so much effort to meet these needs that when there isn’t enough alone time for the introverted mom – it can feel like it’s simply impossible to do anything but just survive.
So while I should have been filled with glee to be able to have so much time to myself – albeit in order to paint – I actually felt torn.
Leaving my kids, while I didn’t question their care (thanks mom!), made me feel a sincere conviction that it is for my good that I be with my kids.
Feeling torn between 2 important things – the care of my kids and the preparation of our new home – caused me to feel confirmed that the best way for me to meet my need for introverted time and live out my purpose is to spend the first few hours of the day well.
Feeling torn also confronted the lie I had been listening to: If I could just have more time alone to do…then I would feel more satisfied with my life.
I didn’t realize this was a lie until I got all that time alone. When I had what I wanted, I realized it wasn’t truly satisfying after all.
A satisfying life to me is when I am growing in discipline and making baby-step progress toward my goals. Just having time alone doesn’t magically accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself. Wanting time alone, although it allows my mind and heart to breathe, was becoming a stumbling block for me.
I just need more time. More time. More. Time.
I was idolizing and wishing for a fantasy. That’s always the outcome when I let lies into my mind.
What I truly needed, I already had. 24 hours every day. Each new day is a fresh start to learn and grow into the roles I have.
The truth underneath the lie that I just need more time was that I do need more discipline. Lacking direction and affirmation had made a weak spot in my resolve to live my life on purpose, with purpose. Embracing the truth that I have all the hours in each day to do what is right has fueled my soul more than all the extra alone time.
Driving away from my children felt like leaving my heart behind, and that’s when I knew that I had the answer to the question my soul wrestled with in February. What if my kids would be better off somewhere else with someone else? What if I’m supposed to commit myself to full-time writing? The empty place in my heart last February was not filled when I had more time alone – because time in and of itself is not the answer.
Feeling torn was my answer. The lie confronted was the correction. Stepping back into my responsibilities with confidence and conviction was the lesson that I learned this week.
Sometimes getting what I want shows me that it isn’t what I needed after all.
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