Most mornings, the blaring of the alarm is met with resignation. I drag myself from dreamland, glare at the numbers showing the time and remind myself that ignoring the insistent noise from the clock is not an option. I have to wake up. I have to get out of my warm, cozy bed. I have to get ready for work, and I have to do things for other people.
Even though that alarm fills me with despair during the work-week, I still find myself re-setting it Friday night. I usually stay up a little later on that eve before the weekend, catching the end of “Bride Day” on TLC, chatting with the Hubs or Facebooking with my favorite group of West Point moms. But before I turn out the light and call it a day, I reach over, adjust the time on the clock and set the alarm for 7:00 a.m.
This time, when the alarm sounds, I jump up, quickly turn off the sound so as not to wake the sleeping hubby, and smile with anticipation.
Once upon a time, I met the dawning of Saturday with a similar delight. Back then I was about five, and upon leaving my bed, I would excitedly race to the television and eagerly tune into Saturday morning cartoons–The Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Show, Scooby Doo and Schoolhouse Rock were my favorites.
Today when I rise early to start my weekend, I head straight to the Keurig for my coffee-on-demand–Butter Toffee, Caramel Vanilla Creme and Cinnamon Pastry somehow give me a bigger rush than 1970s animation. Instead of heading to the television, I take my steaming caffeine and stroll to the back deck where I heave a contented sigh and gaze across the backyard.
A fine layer of mist fills the air, dew coats the ground, and it is silent. I am alone–a state I find myself in only once a week. The Young One is still asleep. The Hubs, if he was disturbed by my early alarm, has returned to his Saturday slumber, and the MIL has yet to venture out for her own cup of coffee.
Experience has taught me that I have an hour before I must relinquish my wants to see to the needs of others. By 8:00 a.m., the Young One will seek me out for a bowl of cereal, the Hubs will demand my attention to plan out the weekend errands and activities, and the MIL will call for the canine to accompany her to the curb in the daily quest for the newspaper.
But for now, I have 60 minutes of solitude. I will relax in a padded rocker damp with the mist of morning fog, sip my Butter Toffee java laced with just the right amount of Italian Sweet Creme Coffee-Mate, and immerse myself in a book I’ve been struggling to find time to read all week. If I’m lucky, I will raise my eyes at just the right time to watch a family of deer emerge from the woods and take their breakfast at the tree line near the far end of the yard.
I won’t think about work. I won’t menu plan or write a grocery list. I won’t check email or log onto Facebook. I won’t cook or clean. If my relaxation and enjoyment are not the first things accomplished by a task, I don’t intend to do it for at least 3,600 seconds.
I set my alarm for an early rising on Saturday not because I have so many things to do in my day, but because I need to do nothing. I need a few minutes when I am not a mom or a wife or a friend. I am just me, doing things that make me happy. And because of this hour for me, I can return to being caregiver, spouse and adviser and do those jobs with increased enthusiasm and purpose. I love those roles and wouldn’t trade them for all the sunny summer mornings for the rest of time…as long as I have one hour once a week.
This is my time. My Saturday Morning. Silent. Solitary. Splendid.
How do you find your solitude?