Tuesdays are becoming my “date” days. I take my daughter to preschool, and then go wherever I like during my Molly Maids appointment window.
Today, I went over to Target and wrote a bit at the cafe. Splurged on a salted caramel mocha frappuccino for breakfast. Ran into a good friend and had a nice chat.
For lunch, I walked over to an Asian restaurant to enjoy a Diet Coke and curry fried rice. When I was finished, I stopped at the grocery store to grab some veggies, protein, and salad dressing for the rest of the week.
When I got home, I decided to write a bit more and let my daughter stay at her school’s “after care” program, which she loves.
On future Tuesdays, I’ll get my hair and nails done. I’ve got a whole list going.
I don’t want my life to be on hold anymore.
Pretty soon, I’ll be driving instead of taking Uber, and it will be even easier to go wherever I like. I’m planing on getting a membership to exercise at the Y.
But I’m also planning to take myself out to lunch more often and do fun things, like go to the movies on my own.
I only recently began to consider that the value of “me time” should extend beyond basic self-care. “Me-time” and in your case, “you-time” ought to even be fun.
For far too long, I have put my life on hold due to single motherhood or singleness in general. Now that my daughter is in school all day, I can finally carve out time for myself.
But rather than simply run errands and do work, I’m learning that I can do better.
I can date myself.
There’s such a freedom in being alone without regret.
Most of us weren’t raised with the mentality that doing things alone was even an option. The idea of dining alone, attending a concert solo, or even going to the theater without a friend seems strange.
These days, I hate that it ever seemed strange. Because lately, it feels like the most natural thing in the world to do.
I am going to enjoy myself. And I won’t apologize for being content and at peace when I'm alone.
Some folks call this an I don’t give a fuck (IDGAF) mentality, and I have to agree that it seems to get much easier with age. I’m 37, but am increasingly convinced that my 40s are about to be my best decade yet.
Mostly because I know that life begins the minute you quit caring what everybody else thinks about you walking through the world alone.
Friends with benefits starts right here.
Many health professionals talk about how your most important relationship is with yourself. It’s foundational to every other relationship you experience with other people.
If you can’t love yourself or handle to spend time alone, the natural question goes, “How can you possibly enjoy healthy relationships outside of yourself?”
It seems unfortunate, however, that for many people, self-exploration stops once we find someone else to love. We might be mothers and lovers, but we fail to truly love (and sometimes, even like) ourselves.
If we can’t stand to be alone and keep ourselves company, it doesn’t just bode poorly for our relationships with those outside of ourselves. It is problematic for us as individuals too.
What is dating, anyway?
Getting to know someone, spending time with them, having fun. These are all things we should be doing with ourselves anyway when you think about it.
And if committed, healthy couples are supposed to be dating long after exchanging vows or intentions, we should likewise be dating ourselves in every stage of life.
Of course, the cool thing is that you don’t have to wait until you’re 40. But if you’re over 40, that’s okay too. The main thing is that you finally realize that you are a worthwhile person right now who deserves to be treated with love.
So, quit waiting for a Prince Charming or dream girl to come along before you get to enjoy yourself. Do it now. Do it after.
Don’t quit dating yourself just because life gets busy. Do it because life gets so busy. Do it because you’ll feel like a rockstar spending time alone without looking over your shoulder, wondering what other people might think.
Hold your head high and plan a solo getaway, if even for a few hours. But I hope you do it for the rest of your life.