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Alone but Not Lonely

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It’s that time of the year again. Tomorrow morning, I set out for a small town in New Mexico, leaving behind a husband and a college grad. During the school year, I am a high school teacher who, by June, is in great need of solitude. The nature of teaching means that someone is constantly asking you a question, complaining, misbehaving, or vying for your attention. Five days a week of this can make anyone frazzled by June. I crave the quietness that this mountain retreat holds. If I wanted to, I could go all day without hearing a sound except for the birds in the trees. Human interaction is there but only if you seek it.

My relationship with my husband is wonderful. This is the reason that he understands my need to recharge and (grudgingly, with a smile) accepts my one-month hiatus. He does come to visit in the middle of the month for a week and we share all my adventures and we make some of our own. I feel a new kind of excitement anticipating his arrival and a sadness when he leaves. In the busy hectic life we have throughout the year, this feeling is often forgotten.

Getting up a sunrise to walk the dog or sleeping late is all up to me. I am bothering no one and no one needs me to do anything. Mothers and wives have a hard time quieting that inner voice that says, “You really should get up and start everyone’s day.” With no one there, the voice does not speak. How wonderful is it to ask yourself, “What do I feel like doing today?” Is it lunch on the patio of a nice restaurant or spending endless hours browsing the thrift shops? No one asks where am I going or when will I be back. My friends are my books and my colored pencils. I rarely turn on the TV because I would rather watch the sunset or go out and look for deer. There are friends who call and ask me to dinner or on an outing and I do enjoy the company at times. Girl talk over a glass of wine in the evening is always fun but tomorrow is once again all mine. Maybe I enjoy it so much because I know that reality hits at the end of the month and that means life as usual.

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