It's hard to describe what I am feeling at the moment, but I think "contentment" would come pretty close.
Before I go any further in this post, let me say that I do believe that I have the World's Best Housemate. Leah is just enough like me that we agree on how the house should be kept (clean, but not obsessively so) and we have many shared interests. (We are both language teachers for example.) She's great!
Having said that, I find myself alone in the house now, while she is on holidays and rather than it feeling empty (like it has before when I've been the only one there), I realize that this is a good opportunity to re-charge my batteries and enjoy the solitude.
If you've ever done the Myers-Briggs psychological profile, you know that according to their definition, "introverts" get energized by time alone and "extroverts" get energized when they are with others. I have done the test two or three times at different points in my career and I almost always come out in exactly the same spot on the "introvert - extrovert" scale: almost in the middle, but just very slightly on the extrovert side. Sometimes I need to be around people, and sometimes I need not to be.
I realize that I have "been around people" constantly -- in some which way or another (work, school, home) for months now. Of course, I take "Sarah time" and I have found that I generally enjoy my time in the gym as exactly that. On a good day, I can even turn my cardio into a meditation and just forget about anything that's on my mind. (Any wonder why I like running?!)
Today, after having some "Sarah time" at home, I had my "last supper" (though it was lunch) with my friend, Cindy. She works on a cruise ship and although her leave was supposed to be until August, she was called back early and head out on a plane to Miami tomorrow. She had time today to visit, so we did one of our favorite things - got take-0ut salads from Wendy's, and ate them at home while having a good chat. This wouldn't be everyone's idea of a good time, but it is kind of our "signature" thing to do together, so it was appropriate that we do it today, as we say good-bye again. (Saying "hasta luego" is also something that we have grown accustomed to doing. We know we'll connect up again whenever her travels bring her back to Calgary... but who knows when that'll be?)
A few other people have left or come back this summer, so it seems like my life has been a cycle of hellos, good-byes and key-exchanges these past few months.
Yes, it also appears to by "my year" to look after people's houses, cats, plants and those other things that need to be tended to when someone is away. This is something I do gladly, knowing it is a sign of trust between friends or colleagues and also it is my chance to "pay forward" (and in some cases, pay back) the same favour that others have done for me so many times in the past.
So... These first few days of solitude at home have been peppered with welcome visits with friends, stopping by others' houses to check in on the plants, animals and so forth and has been blessed with quiet rest... me sitting on my deck with a big beverage, shades on ... reading.
The latest book was lent to me by my massage therapist, Runner's World's Complete Guide to Running for Women. I have quietly devoured more than half of it in the past 24 hours, sitting outside, and finding myself like a human solar panel... blissfully soaking in the long hours of sunlight as I slowly become energized.
And to balance all that off... (a healthy!) dinner out tonight with another friend, after my workout.
Could summer get any better?