Sunday, October 2, 2011

Alone Time

Finally - I got some quality alone time.

Time for me to do absolutely nothing.

It seems to get me to stop being busy it takes a rather large hangover, a swanky hotel room and a rainy day.

I had plans of going for a run this morning, going around the Opera House, Mrs Macquarie's Seat and the Botanical Gardens round to Wooloomooloo.... but the copious amounts of alcohol imbibed the day before meant I was up half the night with the 'screaming dries', drinking my body weight in water between the hours of three and six.

Then looking outside, it was raining. Not conducive for running in a city I don't know that well.

Besides, the room was hot, the bed too soft, there was no fresh air... It was a lovely hotel room - but I would have been better off in my own bed, with a bit of fresh air coming in the open window.
Then again, I wouldn't have got my alone time if I was home.

Today reminded me that I'm so glad I don't drink to excess very often. Sometimes it gets done. Thankfully it's a very rare occurrence. I barely drink as it is - the odd bender will not hurt - it's just the next day that stings.

There were loose plans to meet a friend who'd emigrated in the last few weeks for brunch - but as she has moved house the day before, I never heard from her, not that I was upset by this. It would have been nice to see her - but I know what moving house is like. I'll catch her next time I'm up there.

So here I was. Feeling a little like a sump pit, with a day to myself. No chores to do - they're a thousand miles away in Melbourne, no exercise to be partaken of, no need to be anywhere until check out, no friends to visit - did that Friday night before I went to Sydney, going round to Blarney's for a cuppa and a chat.

I just had to get myself to the airport by two pm and the rest of the day was free. That was all that was on the agenda.

First port of call - a nice long bath. The room had this fantastic tub. I climbed in, book in hand, cup of coffee on the side for a long soak.


It got me thinking. There are three months left of this year. Time to set some real goals again.

This is what I came up with.

I want to have lost 20 kilos this year - I have put on a few over winter - so there's about seven to make my score. I can lose seven kilos in three months - I just need to focus. This started today. Watch this space.

I have a half marathon to run next weekend. I'd like to do it in as close to two hours and fifteen minutes as possible. I can't dwell on this too much - it will come down to the day. My best half marathon time is 2.32 - I'm running far better than I was then - it will be interesting to see how I go. One of the girls from the gym may be running with me.

My other running goal - I want to be able to say I can run ten kilometres in under an hour - I don't care if it's 59.59 - it's my goal. I've got the time to around 63 minutes at the moment if the City to Bay is anything to go by. It's something to train for and work towards.

Talking of work - another major goal is to keep myself employed. I'm feeling a bit better about things at the moment, but I'm putting it out there that I keep gainfully employed for the future.

At the start of the year I promised my friend Kath that I'd get two articles published before the end of the year. Better get cracking on that one too. Yes, this is down to luck and editor discretion, but I take pride in the fact that when I've submitted stuff to newspapers on the fly, the editors write back and say "no thanks." This is a good rejection. If you're crap you get no acknowledgement at all.

And I'd like to go on a date. Or two. I'm emotionally available for the first time in a few years, it's time. I'm not dwelling on this one either. It will happen. You can't plan these things - you just have to put it out there.

Seems my thinking time got put to good use.

After check out time, I left my suitcase with  the concierge and went for a walk. As there was no friend to meet, it was a case of look for things to do. Sydney's never been my favorite place, but given I had a few hours to kill, I went for a wander.

As luck would have it, being a Sunday morning, I thought of my cousins who live at the end of George Street. My cousin Joanie is married to Andy, the Rector of one of the Anglican Churches.

It was Sunday. They'd be around. But it would mean that I'd have to turn up to Church.

Finding the chapel, I entered, met with a haze of frankincense and what sounded like Latin being bounded about at the front (it was just a well pronounced High Anglican catechism) My stomach was growling under the weight of copious red wine from the day before - I had an empty coffee cup in my hand, purchased on the way there. This was going to be fun.

Maybe this was a bad idea.

Entering the church, I genuflected, crossed myself and took a seat in the back pew, hoping to hell the building didn't fall down around me - old, well ingrained habits die hard.

At least I missed sacrament. I can't go up for sacrament, though if my cousins knew I was in the congregation, it would be seen as a bit odd if I didn't go up for a blessing.

The family aren't all aware of my conversion to the dark side of spirituality. Never to mind. These two are good folk. Andy and I are normally found behind the woodshed at family reunions having a cigarette. Andy changed denominations when he became a priest so he could have a beer on Sundays. Andy's a great bloke.

The service was over in about ten minutes. I found Joanie, who was thrilled to see me, and we caught up. We worked out last time I saw her was at her father's funeral - three years ago. This visit was a bit overdue.

It was great to see them again. I got a tour of the old church - one of Sydney's oldest and grandest.

Then it was time to go.

I made my way back down George Street, stopping at Wagamama for a quick meal and I found another coffee.

A train ride, a plane trip, a bus ride and a quick run on a tram and I was home.

And for the first time in I don't know how long, I got a day all for myself.

I hope it doesn't take another trip to Sydney and an overnight stay in a swanky hotel to get another day to myself.

As for the hangover. A small glass of the hair of the dog is drained next to me. The rather charming Bleasdale Malbec went down like silk - one small glass only. The bottle was purchased in a drunken haze as a traveller. I love Langhorne Creek wines. Always have. I just don't remember buying it last night.

I might donate the rest of the open bottle to my charming next door neighbour with whom I share a bottle every now and then. I can't see myself having the time to drink the rest of it over the next week.

If anything, this weekend's made me question how I live my life.

Hopefully this is a good thing.


The Elephant's Child said...

A bit of solitude is seriously underrated. Glad that yours was rejuvenating.

Kath Lockett said...

Your goals are all good ones, dear Pand. And I have no doubt that you'll achieve 'em all.