Time Alone Without the Guilt


time aloneEvery morning, I wake up and devote myself to a daily practice of time alone with myself, and I don’t feel selfish or guilty about it.

It has taken many years for me to realize that I need my cup to fill up and runneth over. I need to feel the ooze of emotions abounding plentifully, or else I am not satiated. For years, as I had newborns, toddlers, elementary, middle, and high school children, I was not practicing a daily ritual of spending time alone. Instead, I invested all of my energy, like a lot of moms out there, into my children, husband, and house while being a stay-at-home mom.

My cup started to become empty with a lot of cracks, nicks, and chips all over. My cup began to get stained, which happens from being stagnant and simply left to sit in the sink. No one, including myself, was rinsing out my cup, scrubbing it inside and out to let the cracks open up and become clean and even shiny again. My cup was ignored and placed back inside the cabinet for yet another day to roll around.

Then there was a change. I can’t quite pinpoint when, but this slow epiphany started to reveal parts of me that were a bit lost. It was quite simple. I started to fill up my cup each morning with a dose of sunshine. I happen to be blessed with a view of the magnificent sunrise each and every morning. I used to see the sun rising, ignore it, and move on to the ever-important role of making lunches, gathering water bottles, and attempting to move everyone out of the door on time.

But, the one thing that was missing in the early morning routine was me. I was missing out on the part of the morning that quite simply could fill up my cup and change the course of my day. So, I stopped quickly addressing the rising sun and moving on to lunches and rather made time for this glorious part of the early morning. I slowly started this journey by just sitting down at the kitchen table and gazing out of the window, and with each day, I found that I added on more time.

Today, some days my cup is runneth over with the sugary milk dripping down the sides of my white cup, but other days my cup is filthy, and the cracks are filled with the stains of yesterday. This cup of tea, while watching the sunrise, enables me to feel the warmth of the new day approaching and a big hug encircling me with confidence that all will be okay today.

This time, with my cup of tea, staring out the window even for just a few minutes, gives me permission to daydream. The peace surrounding me allows me to dream about past memories, what is currently happening in our hectic household, or the future path I am headed on, that is, until I am called out of my daydream by hearing a voice from upstairs asking me to make an egg sandwich for breakfast.

I may not know much, but one thing I do know is this, find something simple to fill up your cup. It will be different for everyone, but you deserve to give yourself the feeling of mindfulness and to wrap yourself in self-love, even for a few minutes each day. Simply put, my cup is runneth over when I take time for the daily practice of me, and I don’t feel selfish or guilty about it.

How can you fill up your cup today? 

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Ali lives in New York with her four teenage daughters and her husband. After moving around a bit as a child, she spent her teen years in Westchester county, moved to NYC for college and returned to Westchester fifteen years ago. Prior to having the girls, she was an English teacher, and on the side always enjoyed writing with the hope to one day publish a poetry book. In her free time, Ali enjoys going on long runs, browsing independent bookstores, catching up with friends. She is in a constant state of doing laundry, cooking, policing arguments, driving to and from activities, and trying her best to be the kind of mom her girls will admire, even on her worst days. Ali is excited to share with you the joys and hardships of motherhood with an open heart. You can follow Ali on Facebook at https:www.facebook.com/hangintheremama/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hang.in.there.mama


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