I’ve been a single mom for over a year, so I don’t have a lot of alone time. When I do have some, I like to spend it in a creative and meaningful way.
Being a mother isn’t an easy job, even when you have a partner to support you. I’m in a pretty unfortunate situation because I don’t have a partner and my support system isn’t the strongest either. My daughter’s father moved out a bit more than a year ago. We have a fixed visitation system and he isn’t helpful when something comes up and I need help. My parents live in a village 20 km from where I live and although it doesn’t like a huge distance, for two elderly people, with petrol prices this high and a horrible eastern Hungarian public transport system, it’s quite a burden to help me out. They usually pick her up from my place on Saturday mornings when it’s not my ex’s weekend, drive her to their place and babysit until the afternoon while I work.
As I work six days a week, I don’t have a lot of free time or alone time. When I do have some, I like to do something that’s good for my soul. A lot of my friends don’t understand why I don’t go out and get drunk when my daughter spends the weekend at my ex’s place. Getting drunk is the best way to forget about all your problems, right? Wrong. I would never spend my Saturday night getting drunk because I would suffer from a terrible hangover during the only day when I don’t have to work at all: Sunday. This isn’t the way I want to forget about my problems. What do I do then?
I’ve been into bullet journalling since 2018. When I had my old blog and YouTube channel, I used to post photos and videos of the latest spreads I created. I have always loved drawing and at the end of last year, I got braver and started to use watercolours to express myself. I also have a two-line-a-day gratitude log. Don’t think about huge accomplishments, though. I can be grateful for an hour in a coffee shop with a friend or submitting a translation days before the deadline.
I started my first blog in 2013. At that time, I was writing in Hungarian and it wasn’t a self-hosted thing but I was a member of a Hungarian blogging community. After two years, I got fed up with the competition and lack of support in the community (well, it was a typical Hungarian mindset), so I went self-hosted, started writing in English and Hungarian, then switched to English completely and became a member of a wonderful international blogging community. I even started my YouTube Channel. However, this February, I was forced to delete my blog and channel (I wouldn’t like to share details of it) and I lost my favourite hobby and a lot of friends. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine persuaded me to start it from scratch with a different email address, and different accounts.
We have a big backyard and a small vegetable garden, so there are a lot of flowers, shrubs and trees to take care of. You could never imagine how good it feels to get your hands dirty while you’re in the sun and breathe fresh air. Our dog, Kifli, always comes with me, so it’s not really alone time. Our neighbours are an old couple and they have a middle-aged son who often visits them, so when I get tired, I have someone to talk to or get help from and we even get fruit and vegetables during the summer, so gardening, for me at least, is a great way to build relationships. The backyard keeps me busy from early spring to late autumn. In the autumn, I usually rake leaves or collect any leftover weeds and have them taken away by the local garbage company.
On my first day of therapy due to PPD, my therapist asked me, ‘Do you do anything creative? Like do you draw or paint?’ and I said, ‘No… Oh, wait! Yes! I paint my nails!’. At that moment, I realised that I was painting my nails because it was actually relaxing for me and the more stressed I was, the more often I changed the colour of my nail polish. It’s still a great way for me to unwind after a stressful week. I even have a stamping kit, so I can get really creative and I don’t have to spend a lot of money on getting my nails done, which is especially fantastic now that money is tight.
I first saw a tarot reading last October on YouTube it totally worked for me. In March this year, I bought my first tarot deck and I have been doing reading mostly for myself but I have done it for some friends of mine and they say that I’m pretty accurate.
Call me crazy but I love going on solo dates. You know, these are the occasions when you take yourself out for a coffee or a piece of cake. I just enjoy my own company and feel happy about myself.
How do you spend your alone time? Share it with me in the comments section.