A sob caught in my throat when I answered his question. Relief flooded through me with the realization that he understood. I no longer had to be afraid of hurting his feelings by saying, "I need to be alone."
We were planning a trip for my husband--and possibly me--to visit his family across the country. Which would've been dandy if that's all we had on our plate this year. But since I:
published a book and am working hard to market it;spoke 15 times this year and have three more gigs to do;
did three book signings and have another coming up;
am trying to care for my elderly mother from IL to CA;
gave two radio interviews and have two more to do;
work full-time managing an office supply store;
am a preacher's wife, teach Sunday School,
and lead Children's Church;
need to visit my grandkids who live 10 hours away at least twice a year...
...a plane trip across the country did not sound relaxing to me. Five days home alone with the cats and my computer did. But I hated to say to my honey, "Can you go alone so I can be alone?"
He solved it for me when he asked, "Would it help you to just have some time by yourself, Jeanette?"
That's when I cried. I knew I was stressed and overworked, but didn't realize how much until I was offered the opportunity to get alone for a few days and simply be. Even as I typed those words, I sighed the happiest of sighs to think of the quiet in my house those five days.
I am a people person, and love working with, speaking to, and teaching people. But once in awhile I need to get off the merry-go-round and be alone. Otherwise, the spring of living water in my soul dries up, and I am less than gracious and not very funny. And that's not good. Grace and humor are good. I've found in order to produce them best, I need alone time.
What about you? How often do you find yourself craving quiet and aloneness? What is your favorite way to refresh your sagging soul?