I caught up with an old buddy at a local coffee shop (which is really weird 'cause I don't drink coffee) and among other things, we were going over what we did with our free time. He said that he hasn't been skiing much this winter because no one has been available to go up with him. "Funny," I thought, "I often go skiing for the specific reason that no one can go with me." As his wife often travels and the two of them are childless (correllation? perhaps. :-) ) he has all the privacy and solitude he can eat. He doesn't even work right now - I bet that on most days he has to look for another human to interact with. In my case, I'm boss, dad, husband, son, acquaintence, subordinate, fixer, defender, pedestrian, the guy who needs to buy stuff, a sympathetic ear, consumer and even the asshole in the other car, sometimes all within twelve hours.
Once a month, I make a point of taking a day off and bugging out, being totally alone and enjoying solitude. I find that it gives me time to clear my head of others' thoughts and demands, listen to myself and consider what I want and need. I had some of that "alone time" during the skiing junket I did in March, and I enjoyed my solitary ride home from the coffee shop for that reason, too. It was during one of these little outings that I came up with my own personal bill of rights. It listed things that I needed and demanded to be a healthy, happy individual. I *could* list my own personal items here, but I don't think I will. I'll give you a few categories to get you started - feel free to add any of your own.
- physical needs (diet; exercise; physical growth and comfort stuff)
- emotional needs (respect; personal time; chances for growth)
- intellectual needs (mental exercise; chances for learning; stimulation; time with certain types of friends)
- spiritual needs (even if you are not a church-going person, especially if you are not a church-going person, these are important)
- relationship needs (ties into emotional needs but focuses on how you give and take from others)
I fould it was worth the effort to create a list. I made it quantitative (with measurable amounts) and work hard to stick to it - I think it makes me a better person ... and not just feel better. If you make a list for yourself, you'll probably find that it gives you permission (from yourself) to do some things that your instinct has been nagging you to do for some time.
To top off the day nicely, I made a lovely caeser salad and I didn't burn the chicken on the barbeque.