Cave Time

I wrote this post last Saturday and then forgot about it entirely until today. But I just had to share it 🙂


I am sitting in an empty apartment on a Saturday afternoon.

I am sitting with a mug of tea and my laptop.

I am sitting…and trying to remember the last time I experienced complete solitude.

And I’m suddenly not surprised that I’ve been feeling not-myself lately.



Although I’m a total performer when it comes to dancing, I am a classic introvert at heart. I have vivid memories of a 2-day New Years party back in my 20s. By the afternoon of the second day, I was so overwhelmed by a desperate need to be alone that I went scrambling up the stairs to hide in a bedroom with a book while the party continued without me. My soul craves solitude, revels in silence. My creativity truly shines when I have lots of quiet, unstructured time to be with myself.

And it occurs to me that I haven’t had a moment of true solitude in months. I’ve worked in the dining room while Matthew put Xander to bed. I’ve worked (far too) late into the night with the baby monitor fizzing obnoxiously at me from the hallway. I’ve gone off into another room while people played D&D in the dining room.

…But sitting on my own in the stillness of a totally empty apartment and knowing that no one will require anything of me or interrupt me in any way for the next hour or so? Not so far this year, not to my knowledge. This is a first for 2012. Hell, I’m pretty sure it’s a first for 31 (and my birthday was back in October).

No wonder I’ve been feeling increasingly like running away and never looking back, or like throwing things through windows and screaming at the top of my lungs. Off-balance, off-center, off-kilter just…off.

I didn’t realize how badly I needed this. Not even when simple things like (child-free) people saying “Last night I sat out on my balcony with a glass of wine and watched the sunset” or “I took all of yesterday and worked on my Brand New Awesome Project from breakfast til supper” have been triggering bouts of painful jealousy and frustrated rage.

I love my family. I adore my son and my husband, but I’m coming to realize that mama needs cave time. Not just once a season, but regularly. If I could have a stretch of time like this on a regular basis…oh, the things I would do.

As I wrote on Saturday (or, 30 minutes ago in Real Time, since I’m also writing this on Saturday), big changes are coming for me and my family. I think that more time like this may be an unexpected and welcome side-effect.

And now that I know how much it revitalizes me, how it makes me feel like myself again in ways I forgot existed…well, I’ll try to make sure it is.

4 thoughts on “Cave Time”

  1. I’m extremely introverted, and I *so* understand the need for cave time. I’m glad you were able to have some alone time and reconnect to how important it is for you. Best wishes on the big changes that are coming!

    1. Thanks, Gin!
      It’s nice to have a reminder that it’s not just me, and that it’s really OK to need this. I have a tendency to push through and tell myself I’m being “oversensitive” (there’s a word I hate!)…but it’s not that at all. It’s just the way I’m built, and that’s OK! Such a relief! 🙂

  2. Oh I so understand your need for cave time. I often think that I would go mad without it. Fingers crossed that you get more of it soon so that you can dance your passion and create your miracles.

    1. Thanks, Dominee! I really hope so…I’m already feeling the craving for more! And MAN, does this ever explain the crazed-mama-burnout that I’ve experienced all too often since Xander was born!

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