Jul 12, 2016

Why You Should Enjoy Being Alone: My Adventure to Minnehaha Falls

I took a day off with nothing in particular in mind to do, but to enjoy some "me time" after a Fourth of July weekend. I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but knew I didn't want to clean, do laundry, run household errands or stare lovingly at the leftover Patriotic Trifle in the fridge! 

No sirree, I didn't want to hang out at home and, out of boredom, end up doing all of the above anyway along with licking the trifle bowl spotless. I needed to get a different view from the norm and recharge with a little nature walk. 

Minnehaha Falls - Minneapolis, MN

Usually, I venture to different spots, restaurants or happenings with Mister O, my kids or girlfriends. I don't normally explore a different destination by myself. However, in this last year, I’ve discovered that I need to do more of it and so I have. 

For instance, I had never before gone to a movie theater to watch a movie by myself. It's just something I had never considered doing. I have a couple of good friends that do this all the time and it made me think...yeah, why the heck not! It's one way to actually see the movie YOU want to see and you don't have to share the popcorn!

I did this for the first time just last year and, as silly as it may sound, it was very liberating. I thought it might feel weird going by myself, but surprisingly the alone time was welcomed and I noticed that I actually like being with "me."

Having this experience had opened my eyes to what great company I am with myself (hehe) and it made me feel more at ease to do other things ALONE

Of course, many of us enjoy solitude by reading a book in a cozy corner, doing some retail therapy, going for a nice walk or a bike ride. However, some of us may find it more difficult going to public places, events or restaurants by ourselves. People may think we're loners, don't have any friends or we're, sadly, secluded in a cloud of bad odor.

According to Psychology Today spending more time alone allows you to reboot and unwind.  It improves concentration and productivity. How about this - it helps you to discover yourself and find your own voice. Read in more detail at their article here.

This brings me back to my day off and having it to myself while the kids and hubby were off on their daily jobs and activities. 

I decided to drive to Minneapolis and take a stroll around Minnehaha Park and take in the beauty of Minnehaha Falls. 

Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, MN

My stroll through this beautiful park was invigorating and it made me more observant since I was doing it alone…and, by the way, being amply deodorized. 

The park was pretty busy as it was still a holiday vacation for many and it gave me a chance to do some people watching. Frankly, I don’t think I would have noticed the small things if I had been sharing the day with someone else. 

There were young families with adorable babies, a determined dad pushing a stroller along a bumpy dirt path and one ambitious boy teetering and tottering over scattered rocks in a shallow creek. Believe me, I waited for it...but he had the agility of a cat!

Up the path was a rambunctious group of adventurous students climbing on the bluffs as one kid received first-aid on a few knee scrapes.  

Also grabbing my attention, were two older gentlemen joyously conversing in a different language as we watched the falls tumble from atop of the bridge. Their enthusiastic manner and body language drew me in, even though I didn’t have a clue what they were saying.  Wow, it just occurred to me…were they laughing at me?  Naw…they were probably expressing how great I smelled. *wink*

Top of Minnehaha Falls - Minneapolis, MN

I also realized that when you’re venturing solo, you can stroll at your own pace and not worry that your moments to stall and gaze could be annoying others. There are times where I’ll sense Mister O’s impatience if I’m lingering too long. Or, maybe I’m the one that wants to move it along. 

Pergola Garden at Minnehaha Park - Minneapolis, MN

Hiawatha and Minnehaha bronze sculpture at Minnehaha Park - Minneapolis, MN

Chief Little Crow Mask at Minnehaha Park - Minneapolis, MN

After my little hike around the park, I decided to grab lunch at the park’s restaurant, Sea Salt Eatery

Sea Salt Eatery at Minnehaha Park - Minneapolis, MN

I've heard about this place many times, but never had a chance to actually eat there. Well today I'm doing it! I ordered the Mahi Fish Tacos and enjoyed a nice large portion of tender and flaky Mahi topped with fresh salsa and cilantro in warm tortillas.  I know some people may think fish tacos sounds like a weird combo, but if you like fish, I urge you to try. Many restaurants now offer many varieties of fish tacos with different sauces and salsas.  Yum!

I sat alone at a little table on the outdoor patio while enjoying my tacos, which gave me the chance to soak in, maybe eavesdrop a little, the surrounding restaurant buzz. 

Young lovers meeting for a rendezvous lunch date, grandparents fussing over their grandchildren and a Labradoodle sitting lazily beside his owner as passerby's patted and adored his calm nature among the parade of people. 

All of this was food for thought to ponder and unwind. It was a curious moment to embrace being a wall flower. 

Lifehack.org says amazing things will happen once you start to enjoy being alone; you're going to grow as a person. Check this out: "When You Start to Enjoy Being Alone, These 10 Things Will Happen"

If you stuck around until the end of this little journey, I thank you for reading and hope it inspired you to drift in thought to what adventure you'd like to do alone.  Maybe you've already discovered the importance of solitude and alone time. Please share in the comments what fun things you enjoy doing by yourself. 

So, jump on the lonesome band wagon and make a day of it all by yourself. You'll come home refreshed and with a whole new outlook.

Wheels of Fun Rental at Minnehaha Park - Minneapolis, MN

Of course, it’s just as important to enjoy life's little adventures with family or friends. Nothing could replace sharing a fun time with someone you enjoy being with.  Even if you have to share your popcorn! 

Put your smile on and unwrap
   A Square of Chocolate,
Laurie O

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  1. Thumbs up!! Best insights happen when I'm alone.

    1. Isn't that the truth! It's a chance to de-clutter thoughts and discover new paths. Thanks Cheryl :)

  2. !!!!!
    I've been there.
    I love there.

  3. I do lots alone and enjoy it. I swear when I set out to do something fun alone, not run errands , I run into someone I know. Other times, like running errands I never see anyone I know.

    1. Isn't that they way it goes some days! Or, when on a quick errand and looking all grungy is when you run into someone you haven't seen in awhile. Ugh...

  4. I need to do this. When I have time to myself I read or shop but never thought of going off on my own adventure. I will now.

    1. Yay Karen! I highly recommend it - you'll see things differently :)

  5. I loved this!

    I accidentally first typed "I lived this" and that is also true, only there's no past-tense about it. I've had some amazing trips with friends, family, and my fella, but I also love solo adventures, for just the reasons you talk about - it's so freeing to have no one to please or set the pace except yourself.

    I love taking pictures so I especially enjoy going to things with my camera on my own - that way if I want to stop and spend ten minutes taking a picture of one thing, I don't feel self-concious about it.

    1. Thanks Bonnie! I think going at my own pace is what I appreciated most. So great that you feel good about having some alone time. Photography is a wonderful and creative outlet :)

  6. I love this! I'm venturing out alone more and more on my own. And yes, I love going to movies on my own. You can't talk anyway, so going solo makes sense. You've inspired me to take some adventures on my own!

    1. Thank you! It's funny that I had never thought about going to a movie alone much sooner than this, but you're right it does make sense and I'll be doing it more often. Happy adventures Laurie :)

  7. I could feel your appreciation for your day as I read through your account and I totally understood because some of my most joyful times I experience alone. I think I'm an extroverted introvert and I married someone who is more of an introverted introvert. We can spend hours happily alone even if we're together in the same room. We travel a good deal because of my husband's work and now that I'm a recovering lawyer, I get to be a trailing spouse. This arrangement is the best of all worlds because it means that I usually have some time alone while he's in meetings. Sometimes I use that time to go see things that I don't think will interest him all that much, but sometimes I enjoy a day much like the one you described. BTW, one thing we've learned in 34 years of marriage is to sometimes go to places like museums together, but to then separate so we can go at our own respective paces (I like to read EVERYTHING). We set a time and place to meet.

    1. Thanks Suzanne! I can identify with the extrovert introvert term - I think I fit in that mold, just never heard it put that way before. Sounds like you're being quite successful at venturing off on your own...that's awesome! Also, I like the separating and meeting up later idea. After 34 years of marriage, it's great to be able to have an understanding like that without hurt feelings. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  8. Cousin Laurie,this is a great piece of rhetoric with super pics!! I LOVE the falls especially Sea Salt. Was never there till Mr Kadlec took me!! I do read your blogs, but I'm definitely guilty of not entering my thoughts in the comment box **pout face***. This piece was excellent so I HAD to comment. Thank you for enlightening your followers with words of wisdom, humor and pure human insight!!

    1. Thanks so much Brenda! It certainly means a lot coming from you sweetie and from a creative writer, such as yourself. Your insight is appreciated. Truly, truly made me smile :)

  9. I enjoy being alone and I don't know why I don't do more things by myself. I have never been to a movie by myself- I should try it!

    1. Hi Michele! Thanks for stopping by and the movie thing I enjoyed more than I thought I would. Yes, give it a try.

  10. I'm most always alone since my husband died 6 years ago, so alone is normal for me. Not always happy about it, but not unhappy either. It just is.

    1. Brenda, understand being alone isn't always a choice and certainly it must be very hard losing a close companion. Instead of being alone with your thoughts, you're wanting more of a social connection. A healthy balance of both is what I strive for.


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