Today is the day of the annual family camping trip, where “family” means all relatives currently within the borders of New Zealand except for me.
I abstain from camping not only because it means sleeping near bugs, but because skipping it presents an incredibly rare occasion for to be alone in our house.
Both E and I have worked from home for the past two years and will continue for the foreseeable future, but I serve the role of our errand-runner-in-chief. That means that if anyone is occasionally left at home alone, it’s E rather than me. That means the family camping trip might ne the only time alone in the house for more than 15 minutes for all of 2023 – just as it was in 2022!
I claim to love being alone. In reality I like it for about twelve hours.
After that, I get lonely and want to make some food for someone.
It turns out that what I crave isn’t necessarily “alone time,” it’s uninterrupted time. It’s hard to choose that for myself when the alternative is a rare hour where E and I are both free to hang out, and even harder when I’m in the same house with an awesome and highly-entertaining kid during her waking hours.
I walked away from the perfect work/life balance of my dream job just to spend more time with that kid – so, of course I’m going to give up some potential quiet time to hang out with her!
Sometimes the only way to enjoy uninterrupted time to myself without feeling guilty is for the kid to be nowhere within a 100-kilometer radius of me. Maybe camping is that far away? I’m not sure. All I know is that it involves sleeping in a tent in a well-managed slice of wilderness with questionable access to plumbing and electricity. That’s a combination of factors I would only endure for a reality show with a significant cash prize. [Read more…] about family, but make it camp