Don't be lonely when your miner's away. Enjoy precious 'me time' instead
Hi! I'm Sarah Long. I arrived in Australia from the UK in early 2010 and met my Mr Miner soon after. We're based in Sydney and he does drive-in, drive-out (or DIDO) to Orange in country NSW. I came out here as part of a six-month backpacking trip around the world, and never went home!
After being in a DIDO relationship for three years, I have to say I've got quite used to having a bit of 'me time'.
I grew up in a family of six, with only 5½ years between me and the youngest of my three siblings, so I was used to the wonderful noise, chaos and constant company of a big family.
At uni, when some of my housemates sought out their own quiet space in our shared house, I craved company. I genuinely thought I was incapable of being on my own.
How times have changed!
I love Mr Miner time. As I write this, he is sprawled across the sofa (seriously, how can one person take up so much of the lounge room?!) stuffing his face with my chocolate, football on the TV and the dishes not done. I still wouldn’t change him, and I’ll still be sad when he’s back at work. But there will also be a little selfish part of me that loves the alone time.
I really enjoy the feeling of knowing that I can come home to my empty flat in a few days, curl up in my ugliest, comfiest clothes, enjoy my favourite food (pasta) with a glass of wine and not have to share my chocolate, while I watch two hours of Grey’s Anatomy without anyone complaining or asking what’s happening in the storyline every five minutes.
I like to clean the house when Mr Miner leaves because it stays clean for almost a week - and if it doesn’t it’s my own mess. No stubble in the sink, no undies right beside the washing basket and no dirty plate just above the dishwasher to wind me up. There may be 20 pairs of shoes, several handbags and inexplicable amounts of bobby pins scattered about the place, but that’s my mess and nobody else is here to see it.
What’s more, I have time for my own hobbies. I’m learning to Hula Hoop and Kangoo (Google it!) although not at the same time! I go to book club. I have monthly girls’ dinners and work nights out. I can now run 9km in an hour and I have time to do all of this because for 50 per cent of my life there is nobody else vying for my attention.
So ... for those of you finding it all a bit lonely: I understand; I’ve been there and sometimes it still hits me. But for the most part I’ve found my stride, my own things to do, so much so that I even look forward to the time that I get to do my own thing.
Here are my 'me time' favourites:
- PJs, girly movie (can be substituted for Sex and The City or Friends marathon), chocolate and red wine – need I say more?!
- Long hot bath, candles, bubbles - without someone knocking on the door to use the toilet or ask what I’m doing!
- Cocktails and dancing – nothing like a true girls night for a laugh
- Shopping! He hates it, why take him?
- Hobbies – paint a chair, learn to hula hoop, bake a cake, whatever puts a smile on your face.
So the next time he’s getting ready to leave for work and you’re feeling down, grab a notepad, make a list and I bet you won't get through all the things you want to do before he’s home again.
More from Sarah:
- How to handle food intolerances when you work FIFO
- Lost that loving feeling? Go back to where it all began
- The great escape: holidaying out of a relationship rut
- Time for a DIDO relationship spring clean
- Reliable, flexible, super-organised ... 10 reasons why mining wives/partners ROCK
- How to make friends and really irritate them
- Relationship rules for DIDO DINKS
- Curse of a DIDO girlfriend: the fear of missing out
- After two years, a DIDO relationship is still love on steroids
- Body clocks and DIDO rosters: a rather stressful combination
- How anxiety counselling changed my life and prepared me for Mr Miner
- Making new friends - an essential tool in mining life
- Here's why I don't talk to Mr Miner while he's away at the mine site
- Sex confessions of a DIDO miner's girlfriend
- Roses are red and DIDO rosters make me blue
- Mixed emotions and my first mining Christmas
- All you need is trust
- How to make your own Prince Charming
- The guilty pleasure of 'man moaning' about my Mr Miner
- Down days and risotto
- How I met my miner
- Making your own life in a mining town
- So what's Orange really like?
If you've got a question for Sarah or would like to tell your own tale about mining life, we'd love to hear from you. Click here!