When I was younger, I used to love spending time alone. I am more social now so when I have free time, I find company to go somewhere or do something. But recently, with lots of my students getting sick, I’ve had some time during the day alone. Everyone else is usually working from 8 am to 6 pm, except for other teachers who may have breaks. Andrew bought an Xbox and my other teacher friends are busy or on holidays.
At first, I didn’t know what to do with this time. However, after a few days, I see all the special things I can do only when I am alone:
- Walk in the city. I like to take my time and stroll around the city, look at people and shop windows, get lost and find new cafés. When I’m with a friend, we almost always take the tram to go to places.
- Take photos. Last Saturday, Nick went skiing and my friends cancelled our plans for the day. So I decided to go shopping and I took a camera in case I saw interesting things. It’s quite hard to take good photos when I have company because people get impatient: “Can we go now? Why does it take you so long to take a photo of this stupid bike!” Not only was my shopping super efficient last Saturday (shopping is another thing I’m better off doing alone), but I also took loads of nice photos that you can see here.
- Enjoy a hot chocolate and a brioche at Sprungli, one of the most expensive places to get hot chocolate in the city, without having to listen to anyone complaining about how expensive it is. (8.50 CHF for hot chocolate and brioche is actually cheaper than Starbucks).
- Listen to weird music and dance around the house.
- Watch stupid TV shows at home. My favorites are Gossip Girl and Desperate Housewives. If Nick is around while I watch one of them, he mocks the dialogues and the nonsense of it all. I am not saying he’s wrong, I know it is stupid but I still like it and I enjoy it even better in peace.
- Get emotional about something (Laugh, cry, whatever) without someone thinking I’m crazy or worrying that something’s wrong.
- Stare at the window and daydream.
- Have a nap. My schedule enables me to have naps (I usually have a long break in the afternoon); it would be stupid not to take advantage of it! And teaching IS tiring. Nick is aghast of my napping habits, especially when I say things like: “I am so tired, I only had a half hour nap today.”
- Take care of myself. I never go to the beauty salon or whatever but I do like to do scrubs and face masks, do my nails and stuff. So when I have time off alone, I draw a bath and start a mini beauty salon at home. It’s very good for the mood, especially in winter.
- Read a book and get deeply into it. There is no way I can read when I hang out with friends.
- Go to the theater to see this French movie (Intouchables) all my French friends have already seen. I would go with Nick or other English-speaking-only people but the movie is all in French and the subtitles are in German.
- Order a cappuccino and find out the waiter drew my face on it! I think he drew my face because of the curly hair. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have done it if I had had company. It was really cool.
As a child, enjoying my own company was natural. Growing up, I forgot how awesome I was and started relying on others to keep entertained. Now I realise the freedom spending time alone offers: I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, in the order that I choose. Being able to enjoy time alone is also part of having a strong sense of self (read this great article I found on another blog on how to develop a strong sense of self).
And you, what special things do you enjoy better alone?
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