Nicole’s Favourite Things: The “One Is The Loneliest Number” Edition

I am going to tell you something that will probably make a large percentage of you become very envious: my husband and kids went camping in Alaska, and they have been gone ten days, returning this evening. Ten days, alone. Now I’m going to tell you something that will probably make a large percentage of you very angry with me: I do not, as it turns out, enjoy being alone for that long.

Sure, I’m all for a day or two of solitude, where I can eat Greek salad for dinner and never once turn on the television, particularly to Bloomberg or any kind of sports network, but I have discovered something about myself: I really, really enjoy people around me. What can I say, I’m a people person. This was the longest I’ve been apart from the children; indeed, it’s the longest I’ve been apart from my husband in our twenty-one years of togetherness. So I found myself being a bit lonely and blue, particularly after spending the weekend at my parents’ house; walking into my silent empty house seemed almost too sad to bear. I’m always a bit blue the last week of summer, and this was even worse than when I took the kids to see Inside Out just before the September long weekend, years ago. I was feeling verklempt and then when – SPOILER ALERT – Bing Bong died I cried and cried uncontrollably. It’s like Bing Bong is dying and I’m all alone in my empty nest. 

The thing is – and I’m sorry for all you mamas out there who are just desperate to use the toilet unaccompanied or who want to just sit down for five minutes without someone needing something, I’m sorry, I really am – I do get time to myself every day. I do get time where no one needs anything and not one person has tried to accompany me to the toilet for many, many years. And so this felt a bit like a long stretch of time where I realized that the days are very long indeed when one is alone.

However, I’m not complaining, not really, because the boys had a great time with their dad, Making Memories, as my mother-in-law says often. Many Memories Were Made, and meanwhile I scheduled in something fun every day, so I got to Make My Own Memories.

Nicole’s Favourite Things: The “One Is The Loneliest Number” Edition

Greek Salad and Pita

It was tempting to slide back into my single-girl eating days and have popcorn for dinner, but instead, I made myself a balanced dinner every night. If you’re going to eat a balanced dinner instead of popcorn, then why not make your very favourite meal? Recalling that I am a person who consumes the same exact thing for lunch every single day, it follows that I do not mind repetition in my evening meal either, which means that over half the nights I had Greek salad with hummus and pita for dinner. My favourite! My family is always happy to eat what I make but I’m pretty sure there would be a mutiny if Greek salad was on the menu for five out of seven days.


I Heart Books

I’ve always been an avid reader, and I always carve out some time to read every day, but with no one there to talk to or cook for, I read for many hours a day while they were gone. I’m on my sixth book since they left, which means my library pile of last week has been whittled down a lot:

As a brief aside: Class Mom is a very fun, light read, and is especially great for those of us who have been in the trenches, so to speak, when it comes to volunteering at elementary schools. Those days are long behind me but well I remember some of the, shall we say, drama.

Following The Nursing Home Schedule

When one is not immersed in household duties, there are many more hours in the day, which may explain why, on Sunday evening, I stretched and thought it was time to start preparing for bed. It was 6:30. I have always been a morning person and when left to my own devices, this tendency becomes extreme. I ate dinner between 5 and 5:30 every evening, with the exception of Sunday, when I ate at 4:20. I had my pajamas on by 6 or 6:30 most nights, and was sleeping well before 9:00. Then, of course, I found myself wide awake even earlier than normal, when I would listen to some weird overnight talk radio show until it was an acceptable time to get to the yoga studio. I shall be one hundred percent ready for the nursing home, when the time comes. I embrace their early-to-bed ways.

30 Rock

Someone – I think it was Lynn (HI LYNN) – told me that 30 Rock is now on Amazon Prime, and hoo boy, is it ever still an excellent show. I’ve rewatched several episodes and it is still very, very funny. Of course, with any show more than a year old, there are some episodes that, let’s say, would not be created today. For example, Jenna gains weight and it’s a whole thing, and also, Bill Cosby writes an angry letter to Tracy. Tracy says that Cosby interfered with Eddie Murphy’s Oscar win, and it’s an interesting line, as today it is well-known that ye old rapist hated Murphy and tried to sabotage things for him, as he felt Murphy was a stain on the black community. Oh, how the worm has turned.

Extended Outdoor Activity

Having all this extra time on my hands has meant I’ve been able to do a few really fun outdoor things, like last week’s hike to Ha Ling Peak. On the weekend I went for a 22 km bike ride at my parents’ house; usually I ride with the kids and we do more exploring than serious hills and whatnot. I took advantage of my aloneness to go the distance, so to speak.

Speaking of distances, Taryn and I went to Healy Pass yesterday and it ended up being just under 21 kilometres of hiking. It was the best hike I have ever done, so I will leave you with these gorgeous shots:

And how often do you stand in two provinces at the same time?

All in all, an amazing day. Today is also amazing; I’m getting so excited to see the guys that I’ve been singing The Boys Are Back In Town all day. Have a wonderful long weekend, everyone, and may the first week of September go smoothly. xo


  1. I really love alone time and ten days sounds almost scary to me. Though far preferable to camping in Alaska.

  2. bibliomama2 says

    I totally get it – I’m an introvert and ten days alone would be too much for me. I so want to do that hike with you, although you’d likely have to get me air-lifted out at the end. I LOVE 30 Rock, although I was confused at first because I was thinking about Third Rock from the Sun – also good, but different.

  3. You live near some really beautiful places.

    10 days alone does sound like a long time…too long. Kind of jealous of reading a whole pile of books, though, and not having to cook for other people.

  4. I’m a late commenter, but chiming in to say a) after 30 Rock you should hit up Parks and Recreation on Amazon Prime. They both still totally hold up. I want Liz Lemon and Leslie Knope to be my bestest friends ever. And also b) I shall join you happily in the retirement home schedule. I sometimes feel like I was BORN about 65 years old, what with my love of old-timey slang and my need to eat dinner at 4:30 and my enjoyment of Jeopardy and jigsaw puzzles. Sigh.

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