The New Year had me thinking a lot about goals, values, ambitions, motivations, life, and how excited I was to wear my new fuzzy socks. With all the talk of “look how far you’ve come in a year” and “can you believe that was only 1 year ago” I found myself even more reflective and nearly bubbling over with blog ideas – two of which involved writing about goals and values.
At my old job, we had a list of working norms – kind of like guiding values – and each day at our morning huddle, we would say what working norm we were focusing on that day. I loved that idea. I mean, obviously, in theory, you were living into every positive attribute every day you walked into the office, but how nice it was to really put your heart and soul behind one guiding value each week.
For this reason, I’ve decided to dedicate a new series of “Res” posts to my own kind of working norms – my own mini-resolutions. You don’t have to buy into any of these. You don’t have to make your own. But maybe at some point, it’ll make you think about what it would look like to radically change your life one week at a time.
Res 47: Do Things Alone
I once told someone that I was really into the idea of traveling alone. I told them about a trip I wanted to go on and they asked me what good the trip would be if I didn’t have someone to share it with. In many accounts, they can be correct. If I go out to dinner with the right people, I hardly notice the taste of the food. I’d take dollar slice pizza with my best friends over a 5-course meal with unpleasant company any day. Actually, I’d take dollar slice pizza over most things, but that’s beside the point. I understand that concept of the “company you keep being the best part” and I truly value and appreciate moments I spend with the ones I love.
That said, there is nonnegotiable need – at least in my life – for time alone. Whether that’s through a long run on a Sunday morning or quiet journaling on a Tuesday night, I thoroughly enjoying “me time.” But reading a book before I fall asleep at night is hardly comparable to the idea of traveling or going to the movies or going out to eat alone… which lead me back to the idea of taking myself on dates.
Have you ever been to the movies by yourself? In January, I went on my first solo movie trip. On a Monday night, after I had shuffled from work to the gym and to the convenience store to pick up Junior Mints for the show, I walked into a nearly empty theatre, put my bags on one chair and curled into the other. Partially because Hidden Figures is an amazing movie and partially because Junior Mints remind me of movie nights with my mother as a little girl, I had the most incredible night. From that point on, I decided that, like with any relationship, I needed to learn to value myself and my time and my sanity. I had to take myself on dates.
Resolution #47: Do Things Alone
It is one thing to do normal “alone” activities by yourself (ie curling up with a good book before bed), but sometimes it’s even more therapeutic to do social things by yourself. Go to a museum and work through the exhibits at your own pace. When you’re on a solo museum trip, you don’t have to pretend to be interested in a piece of art you don’t understand and you don’t have to politely walk through an exhibit that doesn’t interest you while nodding at your friend and murmuring “so cool…”
Go to the movies by yourself. Heck, order a large popcorn while you’re at it. Use both arm rests and recline your chair if you’re in one of the fancy theatres. Try a new restaurant that you’ve been hearing good things about. You’re allowed to say “table for one.”
This week, find some way to do something special just for you. I promise, it is always worth it.
Photo from my last “date day” at the Guggenheim Museum, New York City.