I get teased a lot for eating dinner at 5:30 every night, going to bed at 9pm, not staying out past 10pm. I’m an old Italian lady at heart (so it’s a good thing I married an Italian man with the same sensibilities). The thing is – I need peace to grow and to thrive. We all define what that is for ourselves. To some it’s dancing the night away, shaking off the grind. To others it’s being at home surrounded by comfort that provides an escape. I have always been happiest in my own world, by myself. When I was a kid I used to play made up games where all I needed was a pencil, piece of paper, and my imagination. When I was a teenager I would sit in my room for hours making mix tapes or reading back issues of Rolling Stone. In college I got in to photography and started my first handful of blogs. Now I prefer to be in my own world in the kitchen or in front of my sewing machine.
Today reminded me of why I need solitude to find happiness. I opened all the windows, the first hint of Fall air rolling in. I lit my new favorite candle. I spent several hours in the kitchen making a new recipe and an old one. I searched for sewing patterns online for a little while. I tried my luck at planting some mint cuttings in our container garden. I didn’t look at the clock, I didn’t think about work, I wasn’t wasting time in front of the TV, I didn’t feel self conscious, I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular. I moved with purpose and focused with intent. I breathed. I was present.
I spend a lot of time listening to the chatter in my head. It’s a part of me I wish I could control more, or that would go away entirely. I know it never will. So to find peace, I need the quiet. When I’m by myself, doing the things I truly love doing (baking, photographing, writing, researching) all of the noise goes away. I can focus, I can breathe, I can be me. I know to some it may seem silly to have a routine with a bedtime, or to pass up nighttime or weekend plans. But the thing is, this is my time – my only time during the week to slow my life down, to take care of myself, and enjoy what really matters.