solitude

January 18, 2014 |  Category:   life

jpark_bird

jpark_mural

The realization that you’ve been spending way too much time by yourself lately – it sort of crept up on me the other day. Made me wonder, am I becoming a loner? Is that bad? I feel like I’m becoming an old cat lady, but without the cats.
 
Socializing always comes and goes in phases and I went a long stretch in the last 4 months where I didn’t go out with friends, but I know friendships and relationships take effort and sometimes there is regret that I may not have done more. It’s far too easy to get wrapped up in your own bubble, your own lives, your problems, your family. I’m sorry if I have not been a better friend.
 
I am alone at home this long 3 day weekend. A rare occurrence that has happened…never. I’ve gone away for business on 2 occasions, but never for more than a night and I’ve never been the one left at home. It’s simultaneously weird, quiet and a little bit awesome if I’m telling the truth, though I did feel a pang of sadness as I hugged the girls good bye, and a bit of guilt later when I learned that they had a flat tire on the highway. We’re the family who spends all of our time together and we’ve never been apart. On one hand I acknowledge that we’re lucky to have all that family time, but I also need to acknowledge that sometimes you need a break and we’ve never really had one. While it’s true that work deadlines kept me from going on this road trip to see family, everyone admitted to themselves, if not out loud, that it was probably best if we had a little time apart. I think the combination of stress, January doldrums and cabin fever is putting all of us on edge.
 
jpark_mural2

I don’t write about the girls too much anymore, but sometimes I wish I could because there’s a lot going on as they get older. The dynamics of our relationships are subtly evolving and sometimes it’s hard to sort out those feelings. We argue, they get genuinely angry at me, and I can feel them start to pull away from us as they grow into their independence. Probably one of biggest challenges of parenting is learning how to let go, and a small step towards that, for example, is not being stupidly hurt when one of the girls doesn’t want to talk to you on the phone because she’s busy playing (totally happened this morning. “Tell her I’m busy!” I hear a little voice say in the background).
 
So what have I done so far this weekend? I immediately made some lunch plans with friends for both weekend days because the thought of not speaking to anyone for 3 days was sort of too much. I guess I’m not a loner after all. The thought of shuffling around the empty apartment in my pajamas, leaving dirty dishes in the sink and not leaving the house for 3 days was tempting, but I need the distraction and the company (Mark stockpiled the apartment with food before he left because he was worried that I wouldn’t eat which I think is funny, but even my mom admits to eating cereal for dinner when my dad isn’t home). The freedom to do whatever you want is actually a little overwhelming. As nice as it feels to have an empty house this weekend, I know that I’ll be ready to have everyone home in a few days.

You Might Also Like

  • carol January 18, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    enjoy yourself, jenna. time alone is precious and rare when you are a parent. it’s a good time to see yourself as me instead of we. the strangeness is part of the appeal.

  • susan black January 19, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    omg !! your photos are always stunning & beautiful and I love your blog for both your words and for your gorgeous photography but oh boy that first one – it took my breath away – thank you ! merci ! xos

  • karen January 21, 2014 at 9:15 am

    All I can say is…girl I know *nodding head*

  • Renita January 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Hey Jenna – random question and maybe you have shared this in a previous blog post you can direct me to, but … when did it switch in your mind/heart that you wanted to do your own business. Was it a combination of not taking other people’s BS and wanted to produce what you wanted to see?

    • Jenna January 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      do you mean our cookie business or freelance design? In either case, it’s because both Mark and I got laid off from 2 different recession periods. Also because of childcare reasons – couldn’t really afford full time childcare where I would bring home enough to make it worth it. And I’m not really an “office person”. Luckily I have a career where working remote is totally possible. I know many jobs don’t lend itself to that.

      • Renita January 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm

        Thank you, I was curious is there was an event that propelled you in the direction to start your business … as I am realizing that the ‘office’ may not be for me when I look at the 15+ years in the future

    FACEBOOK TWITTER INSTAGRAM PINTEREST BLOGLOVIN