Yep, still just me. And still silence.
It was the first night in over three years that I had found myself ALONE. No husband, no child, no family, no friends (and thankfully, no uninvited intruders!). Just me, myself and I, all tucked away in a Sydney CBD hotel room.
I’d been so looking forward to this long forgotten solo sensation. It shimmered on my horizon, beckoning like an oasis. A free from broken sleep oasis, which sounded like music to my weary ears.
Yet now the moment had arrived all I felt was a shiver of unease.
Here I was, all alone in a rather cheap and not so cheerful hotel room, with only a wooden door protecting me from the outside world. I felt, small, scared, vulnerable. And certainly as if I didn’t belong so far from home.
My nerves were rattled as well, thanks to a less than auspicious start to this little solo city sojourn.
Two minutes after nonchalantly requesting the family drop me at Redfern Station, so I could make my own way into the CBD, I began to snake my way towards the trains. Seconds later there was commotion, causing me to dart out of the way before being bowled over by a posse of 6 police who were in hot pursuit of a bag snatcher.
If that wasn’t unsettling enough, I finally find my accommodation, to see it’s actually perched on top of a rowdy pub. While I begin to silently lament this unknown misfortune, my inner voice reminds me “you get what you pay for”. So I trudge up the three flights of stairs, and am handed the key to my shoebox sized room. Pushing back the door I’m greeted with the unmistakeable stench of stale cigarette smoke.
Fab. Now I need to morph into one of those demanding patrons who insist on a room change. (Though realistically it was that or face the fact I’d have an asthma attack all alone in a seedy hotel room).
Suddenly bedtime battles with my son seemed so far away – and by association not nearly so bad.
Thankfully my case in point was easily proved to the manager when they came to check my room and moved me to the only other one available- which also happened to be best in house. I’d finally made it to three and half star accommodation level!
Rushing off to the Digital Parents Unplugged networking event took my mind off my surprising unease and thankfully when I returned (at a very reasonable hour and completely sober no less!) I suddenly began to embrace the surreal sense of solitude. It hit me that I didn’t have to rush to bed, to try and cram in as much broken sleep as possible while also tending to my nocturnally challenged son, or be dragged from my deep slumber until my own body clock damn well declared itself ready to do so.
So there I lay, watching mindless TV, eating CC’s in bed and finally revelling in the “oneness” I’d long forgotten about.
Nine hours later (yes, NINE whole freakin’ unbroken hours!) I awoke and felt instantly refreshed and reenergized. I allowed myself some languorous stretching time and of course more mindless TV before taking my sweet time to get ready for home. Because how long it will be again before this ever happens I did not know.
And when I finally arrived back with my boys (only 19hours later from our speedy farewell) I felt a renewed sense of peace and equilibrium flowing through me. Like the weeds of my soul had been dismissed and flowers again bloomed. I’d been restored.