Alone, but not lonely

Today is my birthday. I have had so many lovely messages this morning on social media, text and a few actual phonecalls, I feel very lucky to have such wonderfully supportive family and friends.

Last weekend my three boys (one big, two little) went ‘dads’ camping’, leaving me to my own devices for nearly two full days. I had tried to arrange a little soiree with friends to celebrate my birthday early but it wasn’t meant to be.

Once I was over wallowing, I decided to make the most of time on my own without the kids.

Saturday was a day of both high and low culture. The morning was spent wandering slowly around London’s National Portrait Gallery.

It was wonderful and awe-inspiring. So much incredible talent under one roof and spanning so many centuries and styles.

Alone but not lonely, a post about spending my birthday on my own, and enjoying every minute.

Alone but not lonely, a post about spending my birthday on my own, and enjoying every minute.

Lunch at Jamie’s was accompanied by an inspirational book and a large glass of wine.

Lunch at Jamie's with a glass of wine and a good book

I walked along the river for a while, hence the photo of the South Bank at the top of this post. Then to an almost deserted cinema to see Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation. What a lot of nonsense, but sooo enjoyable. I was totally immersed. I don’t remember the last time I went to the cinema without having someone sitting on my lap.

I’ve spoken to a few people since the weekend who were surprised that I did all these things on my own. More than one asked “weren’t you embarrassed?” But the solitary nature of my day was part of the pleasure. I was alone, but not lonely. I didn’t have to worry about anyone else, wonder if they were enjoying the experience as much as me, or compromise on where to go next.

I also felt no guilt. Almost every solitary experience is usually accompanied by the feeling that I ‘should’ be doing something with my kids, or something more worthwhile, productive or profitable. But my kids were having an amazing time with their dad, climbing trees and playing cricket with loads of other kids and their dads. My recruitment work and next blog post could wait.

It was a fantastic weekend in the finest city in the world, but I was so happy to have my family back on Sunday.

If you want to see my favourite ever birthday present, read this post from last year. It still brings tears to my eyes.

This one is pretty special too – the ‘bacon face’ reference is a private joke which shall remain private!

Alone but not lonely, a post about spending my birthday on my own, and enjoying every minute.

How would you fill a weekend on your own? Leave me a comment below.

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