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By Mel White 

A date with yourself

On the Bright Side


March 2, 2019

Mel White

Picture this: Saturday morning, after a wild week at work, you and your sweetie shoveled snow (again); that afternoon you cleaned house and later in the evening you met up with a couple of other families for game night. Sunday was church and a movie with the family. Sunday evening you made dinner for a visiting friend.

Monday work lasted late. Tuesday you had a conference with your kid's teacher and then watched his basketball game. Wednesday you had choir practice. Now it's Thursday afternoon and your sweetheart and children will be out for the evening at a scout meeting.

You've been looking forward to Thursday evening all week because you'll have a chance to get some much needed time to yourself. You've been looking forward to having time to read or look through old photo albums or write letters. Or maybe you just want to hang out and rest and not feel any pressure to get anything done at all. Maybe watch something you've recorded, or binge on some Netflix series.

Your life is busy and you rarely have time to yourself. You feel guilty about it, but you know you deserve an evening to yourself and you can't wait.

But what usually happens:

A friend calls. She knows you'll be alone for the evening, and when she asks what you are doing, you say, "Oh, nothing." She says, "Good! You can come over and we'll play cards or something."

You really enjoy the company of your friend, but you don't want to do that, not on this night - you want to have a night to yourself - but you say, "Okay," because, after all, you didn't really have any plans.

What should be more accurate: Oh yes, you did have plans! You actually had a date with yourself, and that's a valid date; you had plans with yourself, and those are valid plans.

What could happen next time:

When your friend asks what you are doing for the evening, you could say, "I have plans." It is a true statement; you do have plans - you have plans with yourself. Your friend, who is a true friend, understands and makes a date with you for another evening, and you get to do what you've been looking forward to for days. And it's okay, because you do deserve to have some time just for yourself.

Consider: There are many people who don't like to be alone, ever, under any circumstances, and I feel bad for those people. Solitary time can be a time to get to know yourself, and that can be a very valuable thing. Time alone can also be a chance to recharge your batteries, get rested up, take the pressure off. Time alone, even just an evening or a day every now and then, can make all the difference between feeling taken advantage of or in control of your own life, or the difference between feeling overworked and under-rested or happy about and comfortable with all the responsibilities in your life.

We all have demands on our time, and we usually put the demands of others before the demands of ourselves. It's easy to think plans we make with ourselves aren't as important as plans we make with other people, but they are. I can't encourage you enough to make your own needs as important to yourself as anyone else's.

Take time for you every now and then.

And when you do, enjoy that date with yourself!

© Marilda Mel White. Mel is a local photographer and writer and co-owner of the Treasure Trove. She welcomes your comments at


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