The benefits of a Saturday spent in solitude

I had a whole bunch of mopey stuff to say in March, mostly revolving around how weird it feels to *still* be in quarantine. Now it’s May and we’re still here, so I’ve adjusted my attitude and strapped in for whatever the next few weeks of this ride has in store. I also started writing a huge photo post promised to my mother in law, and I’ll still do that — maybe with a side dish of feelings from the first part of spring. It was so cloudy and it rained so much – you guys, I don’t know how we made it. Except, I do. And I’ll share photos of what we did to survive in the next few days – have to narrow them down from hundreds, the great plight of every photographer.

Today it isn’t raining. It’s a blue sky and sunshine kind of day, the sort of days that always reminds me of ten years ago when I first introduced Lola to Christian. We were already pretty smitten with each other, but her adoration of him sealed the deal for me. Lola was just two, and could not say his name. So she called him “Ishin”, “Oshan” and (my personal fave) “Wishin”. One morning she woke up after a night he had been over, and he wasn’t there. “Where my fraaaind???” she whined to me. When she started calling him “daddy” a few months later, I think that sealed it for him too.

They were thick as thieves from that point forward. We’d make big Sunday brunches and end up spending hours at the park before she went to my ex’s house. A year later when my rommate moved out and Christian moved in, Lola got her own room for the first time ever and was anxious. But she rarely called for me in the middle of the night, always him, screaming “DADDY-AAAAAAAA” through the wall. I’d keep on sleeping though, because that’s not my name 🙂

Many Saturday mornings I’d wake up to an empty house and a note on the door, with the words “went to the co-op for chocolate milk, please sleep in!” or “At the library! Back soon!” It became a ritual, and I began to relax.

Up until that point, I was a single mom who had never known what a supportive partner could be like, or how it felt to trust someone so implicitly with caring for the most important person in my life. Those Saturday mornings were sacred to me. The alone time reminded me of my life before Lola, when I had at least one day a week to unwind and recharge. I had never voiced that need to Christian, yet he saw it would be good for me.

The ritual continues, only now they’ve transformed Saturday mornings into deep cleaning days – and since I usually get in the way with all my tinkering/putzing/coffee drinking, I leave them to it. We have three cats, so a weekly deep clean is necessary, and I married a man who is much tidier than I am. Why would I want to get in the way of that?

Now I’m holed up in my office, the morning chores well under way and, like every other Saturday, I declutter my stuff and then make myself scarce. I love this time to clear my head and get some distance from the dance of the week prior. Today I chose to use it unfollowing accounts that make me sad on Instagram, laughing at some memes, checking in with friends, and drinking too much coffee. Some Saturdays I spend it doing yoga, reading in the sunroom, or writing. Other Saturdays I sleep in and do nothing like a pro, maybe just finish the movie I fell asleep during the night before. Refueling looks different every weekend, but I need it.

Later today I’ll teach Lola to bike to her best friend’s house. We’ll do the loop 3 times and then she’ll take Christian there, leading the way. It’s 1.5 miles each way, 3 miles round trip. Tonight I’ll finish flipping my closet since it seems spring is here to stay. And tomorrow, we’ll visit a new state park I discovered in the Hiking Minnesota book my nature-loving friend Melanie gave to me — it’s gotten so much use during this quarantine!

At least I’m *pretty sure* tomorrow we’ll hike and today we’ll bike and all of this will happen – but the more I live, the more I feel the pull to plan open-handedly. I don’t always like it, the way plans change and expectations fall flat, but it’s been happening SO much lately – why be a brat about it? Things do not go well for anyone in my family when I get so uptight about the plans. We never know what Life holds anyway (Proverbs 19:21).

As I’m clicking through the ‘gram, Lola empties my office trash and I smile.


Then a direct message jumps out at me: a friend from my ancient past has woken up this morning from a dream about me, my mother, and my relative who is experiencing homelessness. She checks in to see how we are doing, this friend who I last saw when we were all wearing black 13 years ago because we burying a friend who had died too young by suicide and addiction. Since she lived through that with me, and she “gets it”, I share where things are at with my family. Nobody wants to have a relative on the streets when there’s a worldwide pandemic happening. She shares with me the dream, and I feel my heart quicken in worry about what it might mean. She’s an intuitive. I start to pray for everything with my family to be okay…and steeling my emotions for if everything is not okay.

My morning gratitude practice involves reading a devotional, then meditating, and praying. This morning’s reading said, “even if our worst case scenario comes true, God will be there.” I take comfort in that. Even so, I don’t think this is how it ends for my family. And if it is? We’ll still be here giving God the glory for every single good thing. God is faithful, even when I am faithless in the face of a scary, hard thing. I’m grateful for the time in Saturday solitude to ponder this truth.

Here are some Other Things I Like And You Might Enjoy

  1. Lola’s been making a 1-second a day video! It’s energizing me to watch her POV unfold in just a second every day. Try it out to save a snippet of what your life looks like right now!
  2. I’m LIVING FOR the music on Radiooooo! You can listen to tracks from every single one of the last 10 decades, and learn what part of the world it’s from. I’m listening to some 1930’s slow swing as I write this, so soothing. The app is free, and it’s great!
  3. My friend Meg Lewis is the one who turned me on to Radiooooo, and she has a pretty awesome course designed for entrepreneurs and those who want to be called Full Time You. I’ll link to more courses I love next post, but this one is A MUST for anyone unsatisfied in their professional or personal life!
  4. CHEESE BOARDS. When you don’t want to cook, just pick up a few bricks of cheese (or, for a fancier spread, purchase remnants from the bits of cheese section at Lunds). Add a couple crusy rolls or a baguette, and you’re SET. We sat around this plate with a Breadsmith bag of carbs for two hours last night, and there’s NO CLEANUP!AfterlightImage 3
  5. I’m on the Bible App daily doing devotionals, studies, and makin’ scripture quotes. There are certainly cheesy devotionals, but there are some REALLY LIFE-GIVING ONES, TOO. If you’re interested in some encouragement, add me on there! Username @kyleeleonetti
  6. Lola’s been ALL ABOUT the pic collages lately. Seeing her compilations of our faces on adventures fills me with hope for the future. Below are a couple she made of us that make me actually LOL:

Here’s hoping we can each find ways to look at our days through the lens of God’s faithfulness, even when hope doesn’t seem to make sense! But like *what in the world makes sense right now* anyway?! I’d rather be senselessly hopeful than anything else.

AfterlightImage 2
this is a cute pic of us, that is all



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