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Missing Solo

I know this sounds weird, but while we’ve been in lockdown and social distancing, I’ve become a little peopled-out. It’s an oxymoron, yes, but it’s true.

I’m not quite sure if I’m an extrovert or an introvert. If you had asked me 10 years ago which category I belonged to, I would have told you for sure extrovert. Going to a big party, and being around all the people I love is what made me happy.

One of my favorite things was spending time with all of my friends. I was always the one who invited people to the party, making it a good mix of people from all aspects of my life. I had my work friends, church friends, family, college friends, and whoever else. And although I do still cherish being around everyone I love, I have come to really, and I mean really, love my solo time.

One way I like to rest and recharge is to take long road trips and explore new locations by myself. Ten years ago, my favorite way to rest and recharge was to have all my friends and family over.

And although I haven’t been hanging out in big groups of people lately because of COVID, I haven’t had those long lonely road trips that I love so much either. You know, that time where I recharge.

I was able to take a mini trip in late May. I wanted to take my nephew to a new landscape, something or anything that doesn’t look like Southeast Arkansas. Not quite a solo road trip, I was still excited to get away and see something new.

But then my sister and brother-in-law said they wanted to come. Because of COVID, they had extra time off of work. They are both teachers and schools have been out here in Arkansas since March. I couldn’t deny them, and I knew it would be a fun trip. And we did have a great time, but I didn’t get my alone time.

Because events and work-related activities have been canceled across the board for most people, I’ve seen a lot of my family lately. And I mean a lot.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my family and consider this bonus time with them to be a blessing, but I’m missing my solo travel time.

And when it comes to time spent with family or time spent alone, I always choose family because I enjoy them. But I didn’t realize how much I missed my solo time until it suddenly wasn’t there anymore.

This wasn’t an intentional decision. I just kind of quit finding myself alone. Plans got made on Tuesday or Wednesday for the weekend to go for a hike or take the kayaks out. I also wanted to stay closer to home so I can recreate responsibly. And campgrounds and popular trails were closed.

It was like, all of a sudden it’s the middle of June. And I realized I haven’t had a solo road trip or hike since about February. Where did the time go?

The realization came to when my best friend said she could go with me on a big trip planned for Labor Day. And while I do love my best friend and look forward to enjoying her company, I was a little disheartened that I might lose that time alone. I didn’t realize how much I was looking forward to a long road trip by myself.

But like all things, this will not last forever. And there are great blessings in having all this unexpected extra time with my family and friends.

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