my husband and children have been away for the week. when they pulled out of the driveway i burst into tears, missing them. but confession: after a day, i grew quite used to having the house to myself and the dog. without having to make meals/do laundry/manage kids, i've had tons of time for myself. it's been interesting to see what i've done. instead of rushing off to a zillion art galleries or repainting the kitchen (much less cleaning it) as i thought i might, i've been reading a lot (finally finished anna karenina!), seeing friends, going on bike rides, making yummy suppers i've actually eaten slowly and savored. nothing earth-shattering, but living more deliberatly like this makes me feel lighter and more creative. my challenge is to find that mental real estate when everyone returns tomorrow, full of stories and bags brimming with laundry. how do you carve out time for yourself? do you feel guilty about it?