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What would you do with a week alone?

7 years ago

Soon, I will have a week (well, Mon-Fri) alone in my own home. I will spare you all the details, but I have to be home and while I can come and go as I want, I can't take off anywhere overnight. And I work part time, so I will have some responsibilities but not a whole lot (very light work load in summer). Normally my responsibilities include DH, three kids, two dogs, etc. So, I'm kinda fantasizing about what I'll do. Cereal for dinner? Takeout every night? Stay in for an entire day in my pajamas? Take off for a day trip somewhere? I haven't really decided but if this happened to you, what would you do? My usual inclination is to do something boring like clean closets and while I probably will do a little of that, I also want to have some fun. I have already invited a bunch of girlfriends over for one night, and that's the extent of my plan so far.

Out of curiosity, I thought it would be fun to find out what some of you would do with your free time, or if you've had a similar opportunity, what did you do?

Comments (50)

  • 7 years ago

    Your list already sounds pretty good, lol.

  • 7 years ago

    I lived alone for more than ten years. I would do the following.

    Pee with the bathroom door open, sleep with the tv on, make a huge mess sewing in the dining room, get takeout sushi and eat it in my pajamas, shop, take myself out for lunch, exercise some tough love with my wardrobe, do Pilates and take a lot of walks

    Then, like a teenager, wait for the last minute to clean up as if nothing had happened.

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  • 7 years ago

    LOL, the last-minute cleanup part is a great suggestion!

  • 7 years ago

    I don't have children at home and a DH who takes a lot of excursions with a car group. I love having that time alone but I can never get away for more than 6 or 7 hours because of dogs, cats, and chickens...and the fish pond but I will often spend a day in pjs and have cereal or a frozen entree for dinner. I have total control of the remote. I love having three or four weeks a year by myself.

  • 7 years ago

    I'm by myself right now. My DH has taken his mother to visit his sister for 10 days. (I don't do MIL stuff) For the most part I'm sticking to my routine of running and walking my nieces dog. For me, I'm reading, lots of reading and salads for dinner. I've also been watching the democratic convention.

    I've had tuna on toast, tuna salad, chicken salad, shrimp salad (twice), beet and carrot salad, and I'm not making meat and potato dinners which DH would insist on. I didn't take out the garbage on garbage day, but I do have a list of housecleaning that I will do the day before he gets back - assuming it cools off.

    I'm reveling in the fact that I can leave the house and not have to tell somebody where I'm going or when I'll be back, I love the fact that I don't have to have dinner on the table at 6:30, and that the cats and I can take over the entire bed.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Day 1 - empty my walk in closet, repaint, change the light fixture.........and let it sit empty until all the paint aroma has dissipated.

    Rest of the week - Go to the recently updated Multi Plex near me and spend an entire day watching movies in the comfy oversize loungers that recline.... buy a popcorn and have them add whatever yellow chemical that is they call butter.

    Treat myself to a mani/pedi and a massage., maybe opt for a new hair cut and it might finally be time to add those few mini-highlights that have tempted me for so long.

    Take my girlfriends to tea.

    Catch an early train and spend the day in NYC - better yet, stay for 2-3 days and catch a couple Broadway shows, stroll through Central Park, convince my best friend of 33 years to come with me............especially since she and her DH are moving to Florida in a few months.

    In the spirit of last-mute cleanup - save the last day to go through those clothes that have been laying on the bedroom floor all week and pitch 50% .

    Then sit back with a nice glass of wine and relax!

    ...............edited to add that while DH was working I regularly had 4 or 5 days to myself at least once every other month - the problem is that he is now retired and I miss those times. So my solution is that now I leave!!!

  • 7 years ago

    Your post and the following comments are actually kind of funny for me as I live alone, thoroughly enjoy it, and have done nearly everything everyone's mentioned many times over. It is not everyone's cup of tea but there's a delicious freedom in never having to answer to anyone in my home and doing as I please at any given time. . . but if you can only do it occasionally, go wild!

  • 7 years ago

    I just had five days to myself last weekend. Just me and the dog. I still had to work some, but the biggest thing I did was NOT COOK. I'm not sure what I ate, but I'm fairly sure I didn't cook much.

    It was really hot, so when I was home I stayed inside. I binge-watched Netflix, played online, read my book. On Sunday I felt energized so I did a long list of things around the house that just needed it. I took a couple of naps, slept late and stayed up late. There was a bottle of wine involved. And I didn't COOK.

    I used to tell DH that he should go and have a good time, I'd stay home and watch the house stay clean. :)

  • 7 years ago

    My kids are grown and out on their own, when my husband leaves for a few days the first thing I do is clean the house.

    I then sit back and enjoy having it stay clean.

  • 7 years ago

    LOL at maddielee. We must be married to the same guy.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    What I usually do, since I do live alone and love it:

    Spend way too much time on GW; wash the dishes when I want; watch whatever I want on TV; play games with the neighborhood kids when they come over to play on my property and visit; have tea or cocktails with a wonderful neighbor I've befriended in my new (well, not so anymore!) neighborhood where I knew no one when I moved there; work on multiple projects around the house and property at my own pace or the pace the project demands; walk dogs at the beach or wooded trails; go swimming in the lake by myself - so quiet, just the wind and the birds...

    I think ultimately what is nice about being alone is you can live at your own pace because you're not being interrupted and having demands made on you by a spouse, kids, etc. I suspect that is actually the biggest difference between the two lifestyles.

  • 7 years ago

    I dream of this often. I keep trying to convince DH that it is okay for him to take the kids to visit his parents and that me holding down the fort is what I want. If he ever takes the hint, I will order pizza and have it topped with what I want without thinking about anybody else's likes or dislikes or spice tolerance, etc.

    I would spend at least a day absorbed in a good book and stay up as late as I want reading without worrying that the light was bothering DH. I would also watch a show/movie that I want to watch without feeling the need to justify my guilty pleasure.

    I would also take on a project that is difficult whenever people are home, something like painting or completely organizing a major room. When I am too tired to cook dinner, I will just have left over pizza because there would actually be some left over (with 4 kids, there is never pizza left over). The first day I would probably go out to stock the fridge my way, likely with going to a nice bakery with a different dessert for each night, picked according to my tastes. I would try to take my mom to lunch, too.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I absolutely crave and need some alone/me time to recharge on a regular basis. I do find myself wondering how I'm going to achieve that in some of the years ahead.

    My first thought when I read your title was if I were you I'd go to your beach house and plunk my butt on a chair in the sand. Since that idea isn't available I like what's already been mentioned. I'd make whatever I wanted to eat or order food. I'd spend very little time messing around with food actually. I'd probably plan a project or so I wanted to work on or some type of clean out. I really like tinkering with "whatever" while listening to music and just being left alone. I realize that sounds somewhat hermit like. I do like and love my family and friends. I'd schedule something with my mom and also with friends. I enjoy an old school video game night a few times a year with my sister (best friend). Swim. I'd stay up very late if not all night and sleep in late. I'd schedule a massage. Clean at some point. I do whatever else I felt like.

    Have fun!!

  • 7 years ago

    I have had this opportunity every year for about the past 12 years, sometimes more than once. DH takes the kids out of town and I stay home alone. It's always been one of my favorite 'vacations'.

    I've used the time differently over the years, but I usually spend the first day they are gone getting everything in the house spiffy so I can enjoy myself in a relaxing environment the rest of the week. It may be crazy how much I enjoy walking from one clean room to the next all week, but it's a good crazy!

    I do not cook AT ALL and eat whatever I want--take out, prepared foods from the fancy grocery, chips and guacamole, whatever.

    Sometimes I tackle a project like painting a room or refinishing furniture that is easier without kids around.

    Other times I dedicate myself to the "me" that existed pre-DH and kids--art projects, crafts, reading, super-binge-watching TV shows I missed when they were originally aired.

    I usually schedule lunches with friends rather than dinner because I don't like to come home to an empty house after dark--I'm a chicken!

    I hope you find your staycation as refreshing and enjoyable as I do. I really love it.




  • 7 years ago

    Oh I'd probably have a glass of wine and give this a roll hahaha!!!

    http://youtu.be/UOacUWjHgiE

  • 7 years ago

    I would binge watch really junky TV, like Say Yes to the Dress. I would stay up very very late and fall asleep with the laptop on next to me in bed. I would click on all the really dumb links like "25 celebrities you did not know were transgender" or "Baywatch; where are they now". Google your ex's. Google DH's ex's.

    I would eat cereal, or things that no one but me likes. Oh and a small serving of really junky candy you last had as a kid. Maybe Circus Peanuts. YMMV. Then I would do a detox cleanse and try to lose 5 pounds before everyone got back.

    I would not wear a bra. Or really anything but a long Tshirt. I would not wear any make up, unless I went out to dinner with friends, and then I would fall asleep afterward without taking it off. I would wear messy buns. I would take long baths. I would let the dog sleep in the bed. I would snack in bed. I would call girlfriends and talk on the phone for hours.

    I would play very loud music from high school and sing along. Or better yet, current hits that your kids groan if you sing along to.

    I would try new eyeliner and take several dozen selfies and then use a really good filter and send it to DH.

    Have a cleaning lady come on the first day, so it stays pristine for you. That is the day you go get a massage and do lunch.

    Hmm, I may have overscheduled you a bit. Sleep is a biggie.Sleep like a newborn. Better yet, actually, sleep like a teenager!


  • 7 years ago

    I can't even begin to think of what I'd do....my list is ginormous! I had a mini taste of some just me alone time a couple weeks ago. I'd rented a house on VRBO to stay at while at our family reunion. My DD & her DH were arriving the next day so I had this little cottage all to myself. I went to the store and picked up things I felt like having (fruit, a bottle of wine, some cheese, coffee). Sat on the sofa and just watched a bit of trashy TV (Shahs of Sunset!! YIKES!) and then went to bed in a cool, quiet, dark room. Next morning I got up, made some coffee and enjoyed it while sitting on the sofa while listening to the birds chirping out side. I read some tabloid magazines and enjoyed the absolute bliss of being 100% alone, no dogs, cats or husband around. I think that may have been the highlight of my vacation!

  • 7 years ago

    I love these lists! DH was gone 3 days and 2 nights this past week and I did some of this stuff. #1 is cleaning the house right away, then enjoying it staying that way.

    And when DH gets back, I do the poor me routine: "oh you need to take me out to lunch. I was here all by myself while you were gone and I was lonely." Or "I didn't have anything to do so you need to take me to _____ to make up for it." Ha. Never let on that you actually ENJOY your time alone. It's been a win-win for me.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    oh and i might put on something clean and big sunglasses and go to see a matinee of Bad Moms. But that is a a little ambitious if you only have the 5 days.

  • 7 years ago

    I'm actually the one who travels for work in our house. Been this way for almost ten years. I do a lot of my list from hotel rooms inbetween sales calls. I wish I could just be home alone doing nothing!

  • 7 years ago

    I've actually been tempted to go and see the new Star Trek film. I don't, as a rule, go to movies or binge watch tv but I am tempted. Although that might have something to do with the fact that it's been so hot and the air conditioned movie theater would be good.

  • 7 years ago

    Love these to-do lists! I think I'm gonna need TWO weeks...

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have time alone a few times during the year when DH travels and sometimes I have my time in our Florida home, other times in our Toronto home. I do all the essentials the very first day, and then I do a lot of the above mentioned, what I love is to pick up and clean as I go along, so I'm always in uncluttered mode.

    I do try to tackle a few projects that are my ongoing TODO list. If my first day alone is a sunday, I treat it as a Monday and get all the chores done, cranking loud music is always a stimulant.

    If i go shopping at a nice mall, I go mid afternoon so I can eat dinner there bf returning home. For me the alone routine gets a little old after 4 evenings by myself.

    I find that being alone sometimes makes me gather my thoughts and ideas pop into my mind more freely so I keep an ongoing list of those thoughts to jot down on a pad on the kitchen counter.

    I sometimes fall asleep too early when I am alone, but the bonus is that if I'm up at 5, I can make noise and move around more freely.

    enjoy your time !!

  • 7 years ago

    I just did this over the 4th of July - vacation from work with 10 straight days at our lake home with five days by myself after entertaining guests. The best thing is that I had nothing scheduled. First two days I slept as late as I wanted then I lounged around drank coffee overlooking the lake for as long as I wanted. Then I puttered around the house and yard and worked on whatever little projects I felt like doing - cleaning the screen porch, weeding, going through some boxes I didn't unpack when we moved in last year, etc. I read a book, went for walks and took naps.

    After a couple days, I got tired of kind of doing nothing. I went for a convertible ride and met a friend for lunch and we ran some errands. The next day I went shopping at a little store nearby and bought a bench for my back entry and visited some other friends. Pretty soon time was up and I was happy to get back to the regular routine.

    it gave me second thoughts about rushing into retirement especially since DH has no interest in retiring.



  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm about to have two weeks on my own. I work M-F, so it's really about the evenings and weekends.

    Chore-wise, I plan to brutally edit my wardrobe and shoes. I also plan to complete the gallery wall in my office (DH just installed the ceiling track) and organize my office in general. My office has a twin daybed in it which will get use with company that will be in and out throughout August and September, so I need to get things sorted.

    Other than that, it will be about eating what I want, when I want, and watching whatever I want on TV. I might also find some lectures or small music performances to attend on weeknights. DH never wants to do those things. My favorite wi-fi hangout restaurant closed last year, so I my try to find another one.

    Oh, and maybe go, all by myself, to see Michael McDonald/Boz Scaggs - long live my youth! Last year when DH was out of town I went on a whim and saw Emmylou Harris/Rodney Crowell -- it was the best night.

  • 7 years ago

    My dh came home today. I had such a wonderful week alone and feeling free. I spent time with my very pregnant great grand, meals out and shopping for fun, binge watched movies on Netflix, actually watched till four a.m., got up at ten, drank a full pot of decaf and enjoyed a day on my own. I fiddled around here while he was doing major jobs in Maine. I didn't go as I want to be here when the baby arrives. I'm always happy when he comes home and we eat real meals but I sure did like the break.

  • 7 years ago

    I just read all the posts and have to admit I do all the things mentioned. I live alone so this is my everyday real life. You are so right that it is nice to have no schedule to stick to etc but after too many years of eating what and when I want and too many lazy days spent in my pjs I am now on a very strict diet which not so much fun. So enjoy yourselves but just know that it is always better to have a taste of time alone rather than a steady diet of it! I have learned to enjoy having a meal out by myself which I never thought I would do. Enjoy!









  • 7 years ago

    My list so far:

    Major cleaning of master bedroom closet. Binge watch "Stranger Things." Linger over coffee while reading a book every morning. Day trip to a pretty coastal town about an hour away (shopping). Lunch with a friend on her birthday. The aforementioned ladies' party. And I might give up meat for the week. I've often thought I could give it up if I didn't have to make it for my family -- perfect time to try! Oh, and I'm going to take a long walk every day. Sounds like a busy week. Hmm, maybe I'll drop the closet cleaning!

  • 7 years ago

    I agree. Only do things that are fun. No housework!

  • 7 years ago

    The key thing is to do what YOU want to do when YOU want to do it - pure luxury in my opinion!

  • 7 years ago

    I don't have anything to add here -- except when I read this last night, I became a little self conscious. I thought Mtn was peeking in my window! Only no circus peanuts.. and my messy bun was more like an oddly placed beaver tail-- but as long as I avoided the mirrors, it was a sexy, messy bun!!

    Enjoy, Sue! Do every little thing-- silly or otherwise-- that makes you happy!

  • 7 years ago

    I can tell you what I did when I had that opportunity last summer -- but hopefully I'll never do it again... I decided that we should move! It was a whirlwind few months after that. The move was a fantastic and life-changing decision. But I never want to move again! I spent my week of freedom checking out neighboring towns, real estate, etc., and then started packing up our house.

    My kids will be gone for 1-2 weeks again soon, and my husband also has a business trip for a few days during that time. I plan to order takeout and watch movies that he's not interested in. I might try a day trip to the beach. I also have to work, but my schedule is flexible. Mostly, I will enjoy the silence! That is, if my kitchen is done by then...

  • 7 years ago

    I would stay in my pjs all day, binge watch shows that DH has no interest in, read, maybe go to a movie or two alone, drink wine on my deck, surf on the computer, eat whatever I want whenever I want-such as cake and ice cream for dinner, and just be lazy.

  • 7 years ago

    Ha! Already decided I'm having ice cream for dinner one night! Maybe even a sundae! Woot!

  • 7 years ago

    Omigosh, live a little. Make it a banana split - even if you don't eat it all!

  • 7 years ago

    I pretty much do what I want, when I want, ever since I retired.

    But somehow, when a special alone time comes, you want to feel very self-indulgent. Having nothing to do and then doing nothing is kind of boring. But having lots to do and choosing to indulge yourself by not doing any of it...that's luxury! So make a list first and then choose to ignore it! So delicious!

  • 7 years ago

    Another 'loner', as well as retired, and have been telling people for years that every day is a weekend! I do whatever/whenever when the urge strikes, but one thing I have never done, is gone to a movie, alone! I've been thinking about that a lot lately, and have decided to take the plunge, now need to find the right movie.

    If you've never had a spa day, ya gotta try it, and inlude a massage, including feet!

    Take your time and check out the supplement aisle at Whole Foods or another good health food store. Make sure you talk to their on site expert, and get started on a program designed for you.

    Have you been wanting to paint a piece of furniture? You *need* solitude!

    Order food, not pizza, and have it delivered. Sit in front of the tv and watch a movie while eating.

    I don't know if you have a historic area nearby, but if so, take a drive to simply look at the architecture of buildings/homes. It you can take a tour, sign up. Bring home something to remember it.

    Enjoy your time of solitude. ;)



  • 7 years ago

    Patty, some really great ideas!


  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This question and the answers here have fascinated me for days now. I've fallen asleep the past three nights thinking about what I'd do. It would be a lovely dilemma. Like many here, I'd have the house pristinely clean beforehand, with the major food shopping done, as well. I would wear soft, comfy, white clothes all day, every day. You all know how much I love white. In Summer especially, it's very calming and puts me in a happy frame of mind. I would eat all of my favorite Summertime foods: shrimp salad sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches on buttery croissants, BLTs, iced tea, scones and in-season fruit and veggies. I'd spend mornings in my garden, playing with my flowers, watching all the birds that visit there and reading some, too. My afternoons, wandering through fun little local shops and meeting my girlfriends for lunch. I'd spend my evenings sitting on our front portal with my dogs, a small, cozy fire going in the kiva fireplace out there. Even though it's Summer, here in the mountains at 6,000+ feet above sea level, it gets wonderfully chilly in the evenings. I'd sip chilled white wine and eat lovely things that I didn't have to cook, but picked up at our local gourmet markets. Later, I'd crawl into bed, with it's crisp fresh sheets. I'd have a nice pot of hot tea, and with the French doors wide open, and the fountain in my garden going, I'd read for hours and fall asleep listening to my fountain and the coyotes, up and down our mountain valley. Ahhhh!

  • 7 years ago

    That sounds lovely Lynn. I've thought about this too. With it being just the two of us (no children), I really don't often feel I need a break. We do alot together, but we also each have some of our own friends and interests. We take time away from each other on occasion. I'm a people person and honestly don't feel the need for alot of alone time, but I do have the need for home time. I will actually be pretty much on my own (daytimes only) a couple of days this week as hubby has a big install job so he will have a longer work week than normal this week. I only work part-time and he works (usually) 4 10-hour days so we are lucky to have our 3-day weekends. Now I am not a spa, movie, shopping kind of gal. Those things do not appeal to me. Other than hitting the antique shops! I'm thinking for one of my alone days I will do some things around the house, because we have had way too much play time lately LOL. A day to get some things done, spend time with the pup, spend time outside, etc. Putter with my plants, Our patio is very much an "outdoor room" and I greatly enjoy that. The second day I haven't decided. Thinking to meet my dad for lunch and maybe hit an antique shop and right near to there is a great consignment shop. I think I might check those shops out. One of the two days I do plan to sleep in a bit. I will then enjoy a nice BIG iced latte on the patio, watching the pup check things out. LOL

  • 7 years ago

    I just thought I'd report back on my week alone! These are some of the things I did, in no particular order:

    Went to the movies alone to see Bad Moms; laughed my head off.

    Binge watched Stranger Things on Netflix, but only during daylight hours because it scared me.

    Ate chips and dip for dinner one night. In general, ate whatever and whenever I wanted, which may have been the highlight for this mom of three who has been cooking for others for 24 years! (And I hate to cook.)

    Cleaned my side of the master bedroom closet, reaping two bags of "rejects" for Goodwill.

    Had about 15 friends over for a cocktail party one night.

    Walked 2-3 miles most mornings.

    Got my ears pierced! (Had them double pierced already, got the third piercing with a friend who got a second piercing. We felt like 18 year olds.)

    Had lunch with friends one day.

    Spent an afternoon clothes shopping, followed by a massage and a facial.

    Oh, and I spent one full day in my pajamas.


    This, along with a discussion with a friend who went on an extended trip alone, led DH and me to decide that we might try separate vacations for one week each year. For a week, he can go someplace he wants to go, without me or the kids, and ditto for me. This wouldn't replace family vacation time, but will give us each a chance to truly get a break from the day to day stuff, the kids, and let's face it, each other! (We are happily married but a week alone is still a good thing!) So now I am fantasizing about where to take my first solo trip...

  • 7 years ago

    Sound like the perfect week Sue, especially the day spent in you pj's. lol I've been retired for several years and there are MANY days like that, and I enjoy every single one! Like I tell everyone, every day is a weekend. And don't stop planning for that trip. That's something i've never done either. ;)

  • 7 years ago

    That is most excellent! Solo time off is really nice. I like to stay in a city where I can roam around my way on my time. I've also done solo to HI, but that is mixed with visiting family while staying alone in a hotel. I prefer to be solo around people, places and lots of things to do

    ps. I hope you peed with the door open at least once. ;)

  • 7 years ago

    1929: door open EVERY time.

  • 7 years ago

    I enjoyed reading about your week alone. It sounds heavenly. I have four kids but dh two the youngest two out to California for 10 days. Even though I've been home with my older two, it has been so quiet! We got home from vacation the day dh left with the younger two, then I left a couple days later for a 2 day trip to Boston with my oldest. We had Very little food in the house so until this weekend, we'd been eating carry out, at restaurants, or sandwiches every night for dinner. We must say, it has been a nice break but I'm looking forward to cooking a nice meal tomorrow night when dh and the kids get home. And even though I'm not alone, the past 10 days have been a nice break from constant laundry, cleaning, driving my kids to activities, etc.. Right now I'm enjoying my last few hours of peace, alone, while my son is at football and my daughter at work. Dh and the others return home around 1am tonight.

    i like your idea of a getaway but I think I personally would only enjoy it for maybe a long weekend. I'm not exactly outgoing, so after that, I think I'd want a gal pal to hang out with me the rest of the time. Can't wait to hear where you choose to go.

  • 7 years ago

    Sueb, your week alone sounds like it was fantastic. Thanks for the update!

  • 7 years ago

    Job well done, SueB. You did us proud.

    A week alone? I think I would want to take a class or go to boot camp or Canyon Ranch or somesuch.

  • 7 years ago

    Sounds wonderfully fun and refreshing. Well done!

  • 7 years ago

    chips and dip for dinner?! Well done.

    To echo MtnRd - You did us proud!