Thoughts By Natalie

sunday sessions: lonely wednesdays

A snapshot taken from our bedroom window.

I generally hate Wednesday mornings. On this mid-week day, Brian gets up long before the sun starts peeking over the hills, showers, shaves, dresses for work, and is out the door by 6:00 a.m. for his men’s bible study.

He’s been going since we got married, but I’ve never quite adjusted to the routine. While I love knowing that he’s part of this group, and I’ve seen him grow so much as a result of that Wednesday morning gathering they have, I can’t help but get caught up in the way it leaves me feeling. In a word: lonely.

When Brian leaves the house, I’m still in bed, clinging to the last bits of darkness and sleep before the sun creeps into our bedroom window. However, it is far from peaceful and relaxing. Once Maggie sees that Brian is up, she decides that everyone should be up and says “hello” (barks) to all of the neighborhood dogs walking by with their owners, who have to squeeze in that quick stroll around the neighborhood before they head to the office.

My alarm goes off by 6:45 a.m., yet I never really feel rested nor refreshed on Wednesday mornings. Instead, I feel heavy. Heavy with the desire to roll over and see Brian’s face rather than an empty bed. Heavy with the emptiness of the morning that follows, as I know on Wednesdays I sit and sip my coffee as usual, though without my best friend by my side to share the sweet pre-work moments with. Heavy with the responsibility of taking care of Maggie, selflessly, since I never feel like doing a thing for her on these lonely Wednesdays when all I want to do is escape my quiet house.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my alone time. I just love it when I choose it, rather than when it’s chosen for me. I love sneaking in quiet time to write and savoring the last minutes of the work day when I know Brian is on his way home and the rest of the evening will be communal. That kind of silence and solitude is welcomed by me, but lonely Wednesdays seem to never settle well with me.

In Kinfolk Magazine Volume Three, writer Julie Pointer describes her alone time like this:

“My solitary times fortify me to listen more clearly and to love better when I am in the presence of others. We are meant to commune together, which means to empathize, to relate to, to be close with. When I take time to perceive the world as it is—and myself as I am—I have more empathy and gratitude for those I encounter daily, be they friends or strangers. I spend time alone to cultivate my own joy and well-being, for the sake of becoming something worth sharing with others.”

I love this in theory—the embracing of solitide for the sake of self-development and personal growth—but fail to execute this in practice, at least when my alone time is dictated to me rather than chosen by me with intentionality.

I know these feelings are selfish, and trust that in time I will grow to love that mid-week morning and celebrate the extra time to myself—for writing, reading, running, self-exploration, or whatever else my soul needs on any given week. Perhaps in time I’ll even get up earlier with Brian and simply spend some alone time downstairs, easing into the morning knowing that he’s still in our home, preparing for the day ahead.

One day I’ll see the silver lining—the beauty and the gift that these lonely Wednesdays are, much like the way Julie Pointer views her alone time—but until then, it’s a hole in my week that just feels empty.

When do you feel lonely? How do you deal with it?

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  • elizabeth shay
    December 27, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    “Don’t get me wrong, I love my alone time. I just love it when I choose it, rather than when it’s chosen for me. “

    That phrase perfectly describes my thoughts. I treasure my alone time when I like it…but when it is chosen for me, I instead feel sad, lonely, anxious.

    I try to appreciate all my private time, for it is usually quite fleeting, with life’s craziness quickly closing in once again.

    Good luck on your Wednesday mornings-you’re not alone :)