One Simple Change: Time Alone (Plus Some News and a “Citrusy” Rum Cocktail

My kids just got home from 12 days at sleepaway camp. They had a really wonderful time, and this makes me very happy.

You know what else makes me happy? The memory of the 12 days glorious days I had to myself.

Now don’t get me wrong: I missed the heck out of my kiddos when they were gone. But having lots of time to myself was nothing short of fantastic, and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about saying that. I have a rather big project that I am working on (keep reading for more info) and almost 2 weeks kid-free meant I could really dive in and get stuff done without the typical distractions. It also gave me tons of time to just get lost in my own thoughts: it’s been while since I’ve been able to do that, and I must say I enjoyed it a lot.

I have always loved doing things by myself: I guess I just like my own company. But it’s become increasingly hard to carve out “quality” time just for me in recent years for various reasons since I am always busy with the kids, house, garden, blog, etc., etc. Do you feel the same? That finding time to relax on your own is a challenge?

If so, I want to encourage you to start scheduling some solo downtime into your days….time when you can just think, and check in with yourself to make sure YOUR needs are being met.

I love taking walks alone; I also enjoy cooking alone. I think everyone needs to find their own ways to spend time alone…even if it’s just for a few minutes every day.

You know what else? If you’re in a relationship and you have children, make sure to spend time alone with your partner on a regular basis. Cook or go out to dinner, go to the movies, go for a hike, or do whatever it is that you both enjoy. Spending kid-free time with my husband was another terrific thing about the past 12 days because we simply have not done this nearly enough in the past few years. We spent last weekend wandering around New York City together and we had an absolute blast. It made me realize we need to schedule the time to do stuff like that even when the kids aren’t officially away.

So what about you? Do you get enough time alone? Time to just be with your thoughts and to take care of YOU? What do you like to do on your own? I’d love to hear if and how you plan to find more time to be alone from now on.

Now for the news! Plus a cocktail to celebrate…

I am writing a book, and it’s based on One Simple Change! In fact, the title is: One Simple Change: A Holistic Approach to a Healthier Life. It’s a book I’ve always wanted to write: a holistic lifestyle “handbook”, with recipes :)

Since my first post for this series, my goal with One Simple Change has been to inspire you to adopt new habits that will make you healthier (whether you do just one thing that I suggest…or everything). The content of the book will be similar to the content of One Simple Change on the blog, but I am working hard to make sure that it’s not the same…that it’s much, much better. One Simple Change will be published by Chronicle, which excites me beyond words: I absolutely love their books.

I’m hoping things won’t change much blog-wise while I am working on the book: I’ll still try to post at least one recipe every week, and I’ll still have a weekly One Simple Change post for you. But if things do get a little quiet here over the next few months, you’ll know why.

So let’s have a cocktail to celebrate, shall we? Then it’s back to work for me…

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Recipe for a “Citrusy” Rum Cocktail

To make the orange blossom syrup, combine 1 ounce (or more) orange blossom water (available in Middle Eastern shops) with an equal amount of honey. Over low heat, warm the mixture until the ingredients are dissolved/combined, then remove from the heat and transfer to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator, and use to sweeten this and other cocktails, plain yogurt, etc.
As an alternative, you can sweeten this drink with a plain simple syrup, or one into which you’ve infused fresh herbs.
Double the ingredients to make 2 cocktails.
Prep Time2 mins

Ingredients

  • *1 1/2 ounces rum I used Bacardi, but I’ve heard good things about Don Q as the company is quite committed to sustainability
  • *1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • *3/4 ounce orange blossom syrup
  • *1 dash blood orange bitters I like this one
  • *edible flowers for garnish optional: I used borage flowers, plus a wheel of lemon or orange)

Instructions

  • Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a glass and add more ice, plus optional edible flower(s). Slit the citrus wheel and place on the rim of the glass before serving.