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February was my month of solitude. Mr. Mechanic left town for the month on an away rotation at a hospital in another state, so I got the house to myself. I was nervous at first that it might be lonely working from home and not seeing many people, but I actually got a lot done. After work I generally went for a walk, cooked up a meal, played with the cat, and spent some time reading.
We live in a small town blanketed in snow, which was utterly beautiful to behold on my daily walks. Overall, I felt reenergized and happy to slow down and have some time for myself.
I finished two books (Skyward and Starsight) by one of my favorite authors, Brandon Sanderson. Following those up, I picked up Misbehaving by Richard Thaler, inspiring this post. Now I’m in the middle of Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. All-in-all a nice mix of fantasy, research, and applicable advice.
I Cooked… A Lot
Sometimes it feels weird to put in a ton of effort to cook homemade meals that I can’t share with anyone else, but I didn’t let that stop me this month. The first week I made these delicious Korean BBQ Burritos that got better every day.
To spice it up I made a homemade pizza as well, which lasted a few days.
I also found out that it’s not that hard to make one of my favorite things: hot and sour soup
When friends came over, I made a sausage, potato, onion, and pepper stir fry and for an appetizer I whipped up a lime, avocado, and shrimp ceviche. It all my mouth-water (are you allowed to say that about your own cooking?). I was sorry that Mr. Mechanic missed all of these marvelous meals, but then he said it was “cold” where he was in Santa Barbara at 60 degrees while there was an active snow flurry keeping me inside, so I didn’t feel as bad.
I did go an entire week without seeing anyone which was a bit strange. It seemed like everyone chose the same week to leave the town! However eventually friends came back so we went out to eat, had a movie night and some dinner parties, and I had a buddy to hit the gym with me a couple of times. I wasn’t as lonely as I thought I would be in the end.
I’m so curious to see what a month of (mostly) solitude did to my spending in the month of February. Let’s check it out!
Note: This is the spending for just me. I report expenses when I pay them, so you may not see insurance or other bills until the month that I pay them.
|Groceries||$185||It’s fascinating to see that my grocery bill was higher when Mr. Mechanic is out of the house. I did have some friends over for dinner and in general treated myself to nice snacks and ingredients which overall came out to a rather large bill for me. I think it was worth it!|
|Passport||$110||Passport renewal fee.|
|Travel||$88||I booked a flight to Santa Barbara to check it out before moving there later this year. The flight seemed cheap and I managed to book it around work travel when I would be on the west coast anyway.|
|Restaurants||$67||We went out a few times with friends this month right before Mr. Mechanic left town and I went with them again another night. I also went out for coffee a few times this month to get out of the house.|
|Taxes||$59||I used Free Tax USA to file my taxes. It might have been free, but I worked in two different states, so I had to pay $12 for each state filing. I also had to pay arts tax for while we lived in Oregon ($35). I filed with Credit Karma for a few years but for some reason it wouldn’t let me file my state taxes, so I found Free Tax USA as a good alternative.|
|Airbnb||$45||On the last day of the month, I went for a weekend trip with a friend. We split the costs for an Airbnb in a popular part of the city.|
|Cat Sitting||$25||A neighbor took care of our cat while we were gone a couple months ago. We wanted to take her out to dinner but as she’s a doctor it was hard to find time in her schedule. I picked up a bottle of wine (9 Lives) and wrote her a card in thanks.|
|Fuel||$5||I did drive Mr. Mechanic to the airport and back, but we had a full tank at the time. We will definitely need to fill up as we’re sitting at empty now, but for February our fuel prices are pleasingly low!|
|Total||$1,282||If I thought my spending would be lower without Mr. Mechanic in the house, I was sorely mistaken. Travel, insurance, and food added up to a lot this month. I had a great time making new recipes, checking in with new friends, and making plans for travel so I think it was all worth it.|
What About You?
What do you do when you are alone?
What recipe were you proud to try at home?
Share in the comments below!