Last week, I tried with all my might to kick jet lag’s ass. I made sure to stay busy from the moment I flung myself out of bed to the second I hit the hay.
I walked the dog, I grocery shopped, I wrote, I met potential business partners for coffee (yep! That happened!). And I did something I felt guilty about.
I went to a matinee alone.
Going to a movie by myself isn’t the scary endeavor it used to be. I’ve done it one other time and didn’t give it one second’s thought after saying, “One, for The Wrestler.”
Employees at the movie theater don’t care that you are alone. Your fellow movie goers don’t care. Many of them are alone, too. So what, who cares! And you shouldn’t talk during a movie anyhow, so there’s no need to be social. AND you can get whatever concessions you want! Half Diet Coke, half Cherry Coke. Sour Patch Kids. Popcorn without all that weird fake butter.
Or, if you’re like me, you’ll just sneak in a fancy coffee.
Movies alone. What’s not to love?! The only downside is that you don’t have anyone to discuss the movie with immediately following the film. (< said in a snobby British accent)
Anyhow, I was out of town for pretty much all of January, which means my regular mad dash to see all of the Oscar flicks is truncated this year. As an aside, why must all of the nominated movies come out at the same GD time?! Spread ’em out a little, wouldja?
I’d decided to see the Theory of Everything, the story of Stephen Hawking’s incredible life. I’d heard mixed reviews, but my brother and sister-in-law loved it, and it was up for a bunch of awards! Plus, it had that adorable actor Eddie Redmayne from My Week with Marilyn.
The movie was playing the Edina Landmark Theater at 1 pm, just a 15 minute drive from my house. En route, I started visualizing an inevitable conversation:
Josh: So, how was your day?
Um… good? I worked super hard on my blog that is making SO MUCH MONEY (spoiler alert: it isn’t), then I did something from 1 – 3 that was not at home, and then came home and worked so hard. And I made you dinner!
I started feeling really guilty that I could drop everything in the middle of a Tuesday and just go see a movie. Meanwhile, my husband is juggling his real job and grad school.
I wasn’t afraid of going to the movie alone. I feared my husband/friends/the real world would resent me for doing something so recreational during the work day.
In this case, recreational is a nice word for lazy.
I wouldn’t have felt the same shame if I’d gone two days earlier on a Sunday, or four hours later, after the 5 o’clock bell. But since it was during the hours traditionally set aside to work, I felt like I was doing something really naughty.
And not naughty in a good way.
I think this hits on one of the biggest challenge working from home. Your time is no longer structured in a scripted way, which sometimes leads to feelings of I’m slacking.
I’ll often have worked two hours before I’d normally have even started working at my last job, and many nights I’ll spend a few hours working when I normally would’ve been watching GIRLS. Weekends? I work then, too.
Self employment is incredibly rewarding, especially when you’re doing something you love.
However, it’s not easy.
What’s easy is blurring the lines between work and real life and never taking a breather.
Everyone deserves some down time, whether it’s a crack of dawn workout, meeting friends for happy hour or seeing a movie in the middle of the day with a bunch of blue hairs.
So I’m owning it.
Sometimes I see movies in the middle of a weekday. Sometimes I spend a Saturday night writing on the couch until 2 am, slowly cooking my thighs with my laptop, even though I know ‘it’s not actually intended to sit on your lap.’ (< that’s what the guy at the Apple store told me when I complained about the heat from my laptop… PS Why is it called a laptop if it can’t sit atop your lap?!).
When Josh asked about my day, I told him exactly how I’d spent my time.
And you know what?
I was right to have felt guilty.
But not for the reason I’d anticipated. He didn’t care that I saw a movie in the middle of the day. As it turns out, the Theory of Everything is one of the only movies my husband actually wants to see.
Oh well, at least I liked the film. I suspect I may be watching it again, real soon, with company.
* * *
Movies alone: Yay or nay?
PS This isn’t my first solo challenge. Eating dinner alone was a lot more fun than walking in the woods alone. And one of my first-ever Hey Eleanor obstacles: putting air in my car’s tires all by myself.