Giving Ourselves Permission to Enjoy

Maybe it’s our overriding perception of duty, loyalty, or an exaggerated sense of gravity about our Very Serious Lives, but granting ourselves permission to enjoy being alone and away from our families can feel like treason. I am here to tell you it’s not. In fact, next time you find yourself blissfully at home alone, I want you to revel in it. Savor every fleeting minute, because such short lived Edens provide a booster shot to our sanity.


Here’s what I do when such treasured moments present themselves: I don my most comfortable (and ratty) clothes, turn on the radio, and wander onto the deck to soak in a little sunshine and fresh air—a refreshing beverage may or may not be involved. There’s very little that surpasses the indecent bliss such wanderings provide. And, to all you worrywarts out there, no, enjoying such moments does not mean you don’t love your family or that it’s a short step from this to a meth addiction or being arrested for lewd and lascivious behavior. Honestly, the hand wringing I have seen related to enjoying such escapist pleasures, well, there are some of you who could compete with the dour denizens the Massachusetts Bay Colony!


Re-booting is hard, heavy work—especially when you do so within the context of work and family life. I would also add that modeling for your children the philosophies that they are not the epicenter of everything and that you can be happy alone gives them permission, later in life, to do something similar. By nature, Americans are a free thinking lot—so think more freely about yourself! It’s ok to be glad they’re gone. You don’t need to exist in an ant colony to be a good person.


Of course, not everyone feels this way—we forget that what we like or what we would do does not apply equally to others. This is an enormous blindspot. Not everyone likes spending time alone. Some people (and I am related to some) crave companionship ALL THE TIME. To me, there couldn’t be a greater hell on earth; I can’t imagine anything I’d like less than being surrounded by others 24/7. Ugh. Maybe that’s why I take an indecent amount of pleasure in having the house to myself.


So, no matter what form it takes for you, I encourage you to indulge in your guilt free escapist fantasy. It’s ill advised to position yourself as so necessary to your world that everything would screech to a halt should you be, uh, elsewhere. Foregoing time alone because you perceive yourself as indispensible is a fallacy and a disservice.


I have addressed this same topic in past posts, but I’ll say it again because it’s too easily forgotten. When you restore your batteries, you increase your capacity to give to those you love and you model for them what it looks like to take care of yourself. It’s as simple as that. A re-booter recognizes that taking the time to enjoy our own company is not a betrayal. You owe it to yourself. Now get those ratty clothes on and have at it.



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One Response to “Giving Ourselves Permission to Enjoy”

  1. grasshopper Says:

    this is truth. It is akin to an ecstatic, spiritual, out-of-body experience.

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