Back in the day when my family depended on me, my personal day would have been called "a strike". Since my children are all quite independent and self reliant, I can take the day off and no one really notices a difference (sad to say). As my morning started to slip into afternoon and I had not yet left my bedroom, I consciously dubbed the day one of a personal nature.
I made my breakfast smoothie and coffee and took it to my room. I grabbed my (netbook) computer and took it along with me. I had the phone, my cell phone and Internet access to the outside world. I closed my door and gave myself A Personal Day.
It all started because I slept in. I basically slept around the clock. From 8 p.m. until (almost) 8 a.m. By the time I felt ready to get up, I could hear the rest of the house stirring and I didn't feel sociable. I just wanted to cocoon myself with my computer and see what words fell out of my fingertips. I wanted to watch inane TV movies and see if I could find something within them that spoke to me.
I wrote. And wrote and wrote. I didn't find any major underlying thoughts when I let my subconscious mind speak freely and privately. But I did find a few small ah-ha's in the midst of the chaos within my mind. I think that I just needed to write without censoring myself. So that is what I did.
As the day progressed and I kept myself insulated from the world within our home (the outside world was more than welcome, as I could check emails/answer the phone/receive text messages), it slowly but surely progressed to a point where I knew that I would not make a habit of this. But it felt good to commit the day to myself. I made supper for my Youngest Son and we each went our separate ways and ate alone.
Yes, this was beginning to feel uncomfortable. I spent the evening in my room and when I found myself starting to doze off to sleep, I came out one last time to say good night to My Youngest.
He was slightly curious as to why I stayed in my room all day so I explained that I just took a Personal Day. But as the day progressed, I started to think of him and the way that he spends entire days in his room. Granted, his room consists of a sleeping area and a living area. He has a TV; X-Box live; a phone and a cell so he is not entirely unconnected with the outside world ... but he is not connecting with real, live people face-to-face either. And this is not good. I ended the day with a message to My Son. "This is not a healthy way to live a life. You must come out and interact with people ..."
I live in a somewhat virtual world. I am attached to the computer and I am continually checking the blogs that I follow; updating my own blogs; sending emails (not nearly as much as I used to); writing; (will soon be) working at my bookkeeping job; and researching whatever little thought or idea crosses my mind. I thought that I was utilizing the computer and the virtual world in a healthy way...
But after one day of no face-to-face contact with the people in my world, I was starting to feel lost. I was detached, depressed and extremely unmotivated to change the course of the day. I am reconsidering my priorities.
People need people. Real, live people. It is far too easy to live in a virtual world.
I was concerned about the way this would affect my Monday morning coping skills. Amazingly, it turned my regular old life into technicolor.
I had a short conversation with my Middle Son before he left for work. As my Daycare Family started arriving, I was genuinely happy to see them.
I sent My Youngest off to school with a cheerful, happy demeanor. Not much different than any other day ... but it felt different. He was walking out the door into the real world, with real, live people. He would interact, socialize and physically take part in his day. I was so happy to see a technicolor day before him as well.
I am glad that I gave myself a Personal Day. It was a nice place to visit ... but I wouldn't want to stay there.