Solitary Confinement

The Glamorous Life

Solitary confinement

by Lee Ann “Sunny” Brown Photo by Billy Brown

I love time to be myself. But it can feel like such a guilty pleasure, telling everyone you are sick and they should go away for the weekend so they won’t get it — it’s for their own good. You are just thinking of them, as always. However, the truth is, we all need a little time to ourselves. Time to spend in quiet reflection on life. I really love reflection. Well, mine anyway.

But, I immediately felt guilty. Right after my mother called and asked me if I would consider keeping her dog for her, for 10 whole days, while she was away on her cruise. For 10 whole days, did I mention that? I felt guilty because my very first reaction was, “Hell, no!” I was very thankful that I had let her call immediately go to voicemail.

Now, I must speak in my own defense (no one else is going to). My mother has babied “Princess” and spoiled her so much that she has developed a real attitude problem — and she doesn’t like us, especially my husband. She lays on the sofa  and growls at him under her breath. He’s afraid to move. She is old. I am always fearful that she will die while she is under our care and we will have to put her in the freezer until my mom gets back. So, I just couldn’t bring myself to say “yes.” I just couldn’t do it.

But, as I said, I felt guilty. I really should be happy to help out my mom and take care of her dog while she is cruising around the Caribbean in January. And, then a thought came to me. I remembered my mother lives at the beach. And, she has her own pool. And hot tub. And how, for a whole 10 days no one would be there. Then I thought how much happier we would all be if her dog just stayed home, you know, in her familiar environment. So, a few days later, I called Mom back. I told her that I would, of course, love to help her out in any way that I could, but really, wouldn’t it be better for “Princess” to be in her own home, so much less stressful for her. Well, she was so thankful. I must say, it always pays to help out friends and family whenever they have a beach house.

I haven’t been alone for more than five hours since 1984. I tried not to seem too ecstatic even though I had my bags all packed the week before. I had made plans, big plans!  Not only was I going to eat healthy, take long walks on the beach, and write, but I was also going to meditate, do yoga, make peace with my mother, and completely plan out the rest of my life.

In the weeks leading up to me going, my mother was constantly calling me and giving me all these directions about what to do for “Princess.” Of course, I was only half listening, because I had already decided that as soon as I got there I was going to ship that beast, I mean “pet,” off to boarding school! So you can imagine my disappointment to find the kennel was closed, for good. I didn’t know of another one.

In spite of that little setback, I really was able to relax. I did get my walks on the beach, well to the beach anyway. I might not have done yoga by the pool, but I did lounge by the pool, and even if I didn’t exactly eat right, I did follow my doctor’s orders and added salt to my diet by having a margarita with every meal.

Spending some time alone at the beach was the absolute best thing I have done for myself in a long time. I highly recommend it. Everyone needs time to recharge, relax, and reflect. My mom has already booked her cruise for next year. I told her I would love to keep her dog again, but what was the name of her kennel she was using now, just in case I had an emergency?

Oh, yeah, I even got some writing done — here’s the post cards to prove it!

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