Alone #SOL22 15/31

“Now I am alone.”
Hamlet 2.2.1

I did not sleep well last night. My brain got all wound up and decided that it was a great time to plan a new unit or two, and my body decided that it was foolish to try to relax when we were just going to wake up sometime anyway. So this morning when everyone else was heading off on another adventure, I begged off.

I come from an all-for-one one-for-all kind of family, so staying behind was really hard. I felt terribly guilty – I kept saying, “I really want to go. It sounds like fun” – and my father, who has organized more outings that we can possibly squeeze into a week, dreamed up multiple ways to include me: “You could nap in the car” and “We can try to come back early.” Luckily, as I brushed my teeth, nearly resigned to joining in, my darling partner reminded me that I am allowed to want quiet. So here I am, alone.

When Hamlet declares “Now I am alone” the players have just left, the stage is empty, and he’s about to give his “O what a rogue” soliloquy in which, among other things, he spends a lot of time wondering what he should do. No one has murdered my father and married my mother (thank goodness!), so my “what next?” is considerably less pressing; I have spent the last hour or so letting go of my lingering guilt about staying home and wondering what on earth I should do.

I am a parent and a teacher during the time of Covid: I am rarely alone for any length of time. In fact, I cannot remember the last time that I was so thoroughly alone – it’s just me, the cat and the dog, and no one is going to interrupt for hours and hours. I’m not in my own house, so no one will call and my internal list of things that I “should” do is shockingly short. Despite that, I’ve needed about an hour of simply sitting to let go.

Now, I am alone. I’ve made a second pot of tea. I am listening to the clock tick and the birds call. Here in this quiet, in this moment of inaction, in a moment I chose for myself, my body is beginning to relax, my mind is starting to unspool. Now I am alone, to fill my time as I wish. Tonight, the players will return and I will be an enthusiastic, even participatory, audience when the stage is full and action inevitable. But for now, I am alone.

17 thoughts on “Alone #SOL22 15/31

  1. Alone time. As a fellow teacher and parent, I’ve found that time is fleeting and rare. And like you, it’s hard for me to let go of all the “shoulds” stacking up in my brain – especially in that time at night when my brain, finally free to roam, clicks into overdrive.

    Cheers to you, your pot of tea, your time to sit and rest. Hopefully I’ll find myself in a similar situation next week on my spring break. A girl can dream…


  2. Getting rid of guilt is one of the hardest, but most important, things to do. I’m so glad for you that you have this alone time. Let’s hope – unlike with Hamlet – no one will be plotting to send you off to England.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alone time is so very rare right now, isn’t it? I’m on my prep right now, blissfully alone in my classroom and cherishing these moments of silence and a little stolen blog commenting when I should be grading. Or lesson planning. Or responding to emails or doing some dreaded paperwork or organizing my desk or any of the other tasks on my list. So glad you sat and enjoyed the moment and took that time for yourself!


  4. I did the same thing today! I am NEVER alone but today I am and it is glorious. I just wrote a poem about how I was able to breathe today. Enjoy your time and try not to feel guilty. Your partner is correct-You are allowed to want to have alone time,


  5. I am happy for you that you got the much needed “me-time” to just be. This is probably the best part of being alone, that you really can do what you wish or do nothing at all.


  6. Wow, the poetry of this piece is stunning! When you are alone what you can do with words! Phew. With these words, I felt my body soften and relax: “I am listening to the clock tick and the birds call. Here in this quiet, in this moment of inaction, in a moment I chose for myself, my body is beginning to relax, my mind is starting to unspool.” The repetition in just the right spot becoming more frequent near the end – your pacing is incredible. So powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It was especially generous of you to invite all of us to share your time alone. We see you, we sigh at the thought of the surrounding peace, we accept and commiserate with the buzz of your thoughts. I hope you can savor the pleasure of your body relaxing, your mind unspooling (great word choice, btw!) once that time has passed and the remaining players return to the stage.


  8. I had some alone time today too! I felt guilty about too! LOL

    And I was up in the middle of the night thinking about school. *sigh*

    I did a lot laying around today. I realized that it’s probably been 11 years since I’ve done that. One my daughter was born I got busy and I’ve basically stayed busy looking after other people ever since. It feels good to be alone and not have anything to do. Why do we do this to ourselves? Or do we? Maybe it’s just life.


  9. The great thing about this is that in your moment of “inaction” you wrote a beautiful piece. I really like the last paragraph. It has the stillness where you hear time passing, but it seems like peace. It’s hard to write well about a moment where not much is happening and still make it seem important. I think you’ve done it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a lovely meditation on the quiet elixir we all need from time to time. Of course, the Hamlet line repetition “Now I am alone” is so perfect. Sometimes the best vacation days are quiet alone days. Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is so lovely, Amanda. I love that you made the world a stage, and understand that the players will return. But for now, there is you, and the flow of time and space around you. Revel in it.

    Liked by 1 person

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