So we've taken the six hour train ride to Philadelphia to see friends, and tomorrow I'm off to Colorado to stay with daughter #1 and her family. At least they've been having proper winter weather, which will be a nice change from the balmy December days on the east coast.
I so enjoyed puttering around the apartment between the end of term and Christmas and when I return from Colorado, R. will be back at work and I will again have the place to myself.
When I was a teenager, my mother's alone time was between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. She could stay up late because she didn't have a job and never got up to make us breakfast. She would watch the 10 o'clock news with my father in their bedroom and when he went to sleep, she would go downstairs. She would have coffee and a snack, often of something expensive like caviar or crabmeat, and read at the kitchen table. If I was up late doing school work she wouldn't ignore me, but I know that on those nights she stayed up even later, not going to bed until four or five in the morning.
When my children were growing up, I never had such time to myself. I was up early with them and out of the house all day. Perhaps this explains why I crave time alone now. I am content to stay home and do what may appear to others as nothing at all. As long as I get out for a walk at some point, I don't feel guilty about what I do or fail to do.