free time

I like Saturday mornings. I follow a pretty basic routine: Prepare a simple breakfast at home, join the hubby to UP, say hi to judokas, leave the hubby for his UP Power Kidz class and spend a couple of hours for a bit of me-time. This usually means taking a leisurely drive around the campus and/or the nearby villages, finding a quiet spot to read and write, and doing a personal errand or two. Once in a while I get my nails done or meet up with a friend, but often it’s just me, a book and a cup of coffee. Sometimes I don’t even get out of the car — just park under a tree, and I’m all good.

What makes this time pretty special, I think, is that it’s the only two or three hours in the entire week that I am not at all expected to do anything or be anywhere or interact with anyone. It’s literally time that I have to spend however I please. “Free time” is nice and fun when you’re a kid in school, but I swear it’s way sweeter when you’re a grown-up. I used to look forward to free time as it meant time to hang out with my friends and play; now, I guess like many people my age, there are a few things more precious than having more than half an hour to myself in a corner somewhere, so real free time would have to mean just that.

Either it’s a glitch in my so-called extroversion, or perhaps, as Axl Rose used to belt out (yeah, yeah, I was a fan haha) “everybody needs some time all alone” to recharge and to introspect, no matter how outgoing and social he/she may be. Which brings me to my dire need for another solo retreat; the last time I was able to go on one was more than a year ago (or was it two years ago?), when I drove to a prayer mountain in Antipolo. It was just one day, but it was a restful time and it allowed me a good one-on-one with my Lord. I hope I can manage a mini-road trip again soon.

It’s past noon now, so my free time’s up. Gotta get going now.


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