I had a total of 32 hours to myself recently because my husband brought my teenage son with him on an overnight business trip and my daughter is off at college. I suppose you could really call it 21 hours due to the 11 hours spent sleeping. This is only because I stayed awake until the wee hours enjoying my independence. Therefore, waking at 9:45 am really didn’t seem that frivolous.

As parents, we are constantly craving time alone. When this actually happens, there is often a bewilderment stage: Hmmm, what was I planning to do again? Next is the I’m going to get a ton of stuff done! stage. The final stage is my favorite: It’s the I deserve to do absolutely nothing stage. Depending on the parent and his/her state of mind, it’s possible to live in one or two stages for an elongated period of time.

On this exciting day of freedom, I purposely left my phone up in my bedroom, the place I dread to clean because I’m like a teenager with my clothes. Oh, this doesn’t feel good on me today… take it off and toss it in the corner for the clean-up fairy. Except that fairy is me, and I must admit she is super lazy when it comes to picking up clothes. Hence why I tend to not visit my bedroom throughout the day, for that clothes pile is relentless.

With my phone being out of reach, I was able to flow freely throughout my day without being distracted by the latest Facebook post or the mindless Tik Tok videos that take me down rabbit holes of the strangest sort. Who knew I needed a perfect skin matching makeup? I don’t even wear foundation. Better yet, I’ve purchased “Mantra Band” bracelets because a young, adorable Tik Tok influencer insisted I need to be reminded to “Do what you love and love what you do!”

It’s befuddling the things you can fit within 21 hours—or not. On this given day, I soaked in a yoga class, walked the dogs, read my book, scribed some magnificent words, and napped while “watching” a few hours of Food Network’s “Chopped.” And it was only 5 pm—time for dinner.

After all the self-indulgent moments of the day, I nestled down on the couch to watch mindless reruns of a favorite show while snacking on a veggie roasted cauliflower pizza. As my eyelids began to carry the weight of a luxurious day, the clock read only 8 pm. I can’t fall asleep just yet—I need to extend this gloriousness. Long ago, my husband and I decided to forego putting a television in our bedroom to encourage conversation versus tired, vacant eyes on a blue screen. But dang, I LOVE watching TV in bed, so my laptop would suffice!

It’s probably best that we stopped watching television late into the evening. Over the years, my husband and I have completed some ridiculous late-night infomercial shopping. There was always a massive gap in interesting shows between an episode of the “X-files” and “Seinfeld” where the entertaining infomercials would creep in like the stealthy cheetah behind a wounded gazelle.

Our first endeavor began with the “Red Devil” portable gas grill. You can take it anywhere and it fits in one convenient over-the-shoulder bag! It was a unique purchase that actually made it to several tailgates and camping trips only to one day decide not to work anymore. I can’t remember what we did with its carcass, but it’s probably in a landfill alongside our next infomercial purchase, The Sobakowa Pillow!

The Sobakowa Pillow is made with ancient buckwheat husks, by golly! All I can remember is the enthusiastic Japanese man who emphatically wanted to give us a better night’s sleep with his cooling, supportive and moldable sheet filled with what felt like tiny foam balls. Two for the price of one if we ordered in the next hour! One for both of us? Well, that’s a no-brainer.

When the “healing” pillows arrived, it took all of our might to hold in the laughter as we tossed and turned and adjusted the ball bearing filled pillows that smelled faintly like the fermenting process at a brewery.

As the Sobakowa pillows found their way to the depths of our linen closet, we vowed to take a break from impulsive late-night shopping. Instead, we virtually adopted a few polar bears and donated to the many abused and shelterless dogs whose sad eyes and skeletal frames ripped gaping holes in our hearts. At least these purchases won’t take up space in our home—unlike the Power Pressure Cooker XL.

We lasted about five years before the Power Pressure Cooker XL infomercial wore us down like a 5-year-old incessantly begging for another cookie. This new appliance was the answer to everything! Chicken wings from frozen to juicy specimens of delight in only 15 minutes! We could get “meals in minutes with the touch of a button!” This contraption is cumbersome, multi-step to operate, and burnt the few dishes I attempted to make with it. The Power XL still lives in the depths of a rarely visited cupboard. I keep thinking I’m going to read up on it further and finesse my skills before trying again. I’m sure that will happen.

I am all about finding things that will make life easier for myself or family. But as I revel in the final hours of my own freedom, I’ve come to the conclusion that most wonderful things take time, forethought and preparation to execute—be it a meal, a new job, a vacation, or finding that new pillow to fix your stiff neck. Speaking of, have you seen the new Square Pillow? You’ll never need another pillow for the rest of your life!