Solitude. Alone. Privacy. Seclusion. Solitary. Isolation.
What do these words mean to me? The author, Sue Augustine, encourages us to define those words and consider them.
Are they positive or negative terms? At first glance, "solitude" is the only one which seems positive to me. "Alone" sounds like "lonely," like I have no friends. "Privacy" sounds like I am trying to keep a secret or am doing something shameful. "Seclusion" and "solitary" and "isolation" all sound like a punishment one receives in prison for starting a fight on the cell block.
So as a retreat for a mom, do I want solitude? Do I need solitude? Maybe for just five minutes? Is five minutes enough? That is a rhetorical question - at this stage in my life (with a one year old and a three year old), I am not likely to get more than 5 minutes at a time. Maybe during nap times or after bed time. But I am usually at work during nap time and am exhausted by bed time.
If I try to take moments of solitude dueing the day, will that be valuable? Can I focus my mind quickly enough to effectively use five minutes of solitude? Can I block out the family noises and the family's needs for five minutes? That is a tall challenge. Am I capable?