#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller


A Greta Garbo Day

Apologies to those of you who are too young to know who Ms. Garbo was.  :)  Suffice it to say, she was an old-time movie star, a cool blond with a throaty voice and a European accent.  Among other things, she was famous for saying, “I want to alone.”  (Although it came out as, “I vant to be alone.”)

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love people, I truly do.  But I am essentially an introvert, like many writers, and occasionally I need solitude, time to think, time to pray deeply, time to doodle on one of my artist trading cards–anything to rest my ADD-plagued brain for a while.  I’ve learned over the years that taking an I-vant-to-be-alone day now and then is vital to my mental health and general well-being; this is when my deeper mind gets a (too rare) opportunity to call the shots, without the constant interference of the surface mind.

I took one of these days recently, and it was a powerful experience.  I received some insights into my own life and thought processes, as I do when I journal.  It was delicious, this day.  When I sat in my meditation chair, all four pets joined me, and we all enjoyed the peace of just being who we are, where we are, what we are.  Animals are naturals at Just Being, especially cats.  They don’t prowl the past or try to explore and subdue the future; they are smack dab in the middle of NOW.  Of course our furry friends don’t have think about mortgage payments, political upheaval or the many other challenges (human) flesh is heir to, but we can still take a lesson from them.  

In the tech community, this kind of mini-retreat is called ‘unplugging’, an undeniably good thing.  We are constantly bombarded by all manner of input, from sales pitches to political rhetoric (God help us) to violence and, well, you get the idea.  It is impossible for any mere mortal to absorb and assimilate so many stimuli, wouldn’t even want to, but the onslaught continues, ceaselessly, 24/7.  Yeesh!  At this point, I’m not even sure this blog makes sense.

Maybe I need a Greta Garbo weekend….

36 comments to “A Greta Garbo Day”

  1. Debra Wright
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    1
      · August 5th, 2016 at 12:48 pm · Link

    I am so like you! Times like alone times are special. I suffer from depression and I need those times to thank God for all my blessings! Thank you Linda for your insight !



  2. Teresa Fordice
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    2
      · August 5th, 2016 at 12:50 pm · Link

    YES – I need one of these and somewhat had one last weekend. But alas did not take the tech part away!! Great blog!



  3. Juanita Rice
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    3
      · August 5th, 2016 at 12:52 pm · Link

    Take the weekend, Linda. You’ll come out new and fresh. :)



  4. Pamela Devereux
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    4
      · August 5th, 2016 at 12:54 pm · Link

    I am not old enough to know her but I have seen old movies of her. Everyone needs that time alone. We didn’t even turn the tv on in our house on Saturday. I was just quiet time. No on the computer or phones. We both were just reading.



  5. pat
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    5
      · August 5th, 2016 at 12:55 pm · Link

    I love mini-retreats with a good book. In another vein, don’t you just want to throw something at the TV sometimes?



  6. Andrea Lammly
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    6
      · August 5th, 2016 at 12:56 pm · Link

    I hear you. We all need to do more “unplugging” for our own sanity. I work at a group of radio stations so we have news, weather and sports all day and then it follows you home via social media, radio and television. We have two cats and my relaxing time is holding our 16 1/2 year old cat in my lap every night. Totally puts me at peace. So here’s to your weekend of unplugging and rejuvenation. Take care Linda.



  7. DONNA
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    7
      · August 5th, 2016 at 12:58 pm · Link

    We all need an alone day once in awhile. I know I do. On an along day foe me is a day off from work & no phone calls – just me a book



  8. Marjorie Hawkins
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    8
      · August 5th, 2016 at 1:17 pm · Link

    I am also an introvert. I’m 72 years old, so don’t think it’s going to change anytime soon. I love being out with my family and also my gym buddies, but need time to just “Be” from time to time. I’m a widow and live alone and that’s fine with me but my friends and family are always trying to interest me in joining into new things, but I like my life just the way it is. Yes, I remember Greta Garbo. Love your books and your blog!!



  9. Jo Ann Baker
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    9
      · August 5th, 2016 at 1:20 pm · Link

    I feel you. I call them just for me days. The day I tske to do a quite time, tastaske a walk. Just read a book. A nap is good too. Love them days. Hope yours was a good one. :-P



  10. Billiesue Sanders
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    10
      · August 5th, 2016 at 1:23 pm · Link

    I am with you, Linda. We all need such days.

    Billiesue



  11. Patricia Taylor
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    11
      · August 5th, 2016 at 1:45 pm · Link

    Totally understand. I am an introvert as well.There are times I just don’t want to talk to anyone.



  12. Valdi M.
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    12
      · August 5th, 2016 at 1:47 pm · Link

    My husband is bipolar, manic depressive and loves nothing as much as the sound of his own voice. Being alone or having silence is only a dream! Getting lost in a book saves me!



  13. Hilda
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    13
      · August 5th, 2016 at 2:00 pm · Link

    Linda, your blog made perfect sense! Good for you! I’m sure most of us know exactly what you are saying and want to have such an “I Vant to be Alone” day. It’s a challenge to get one, and a challenge to turn off the outside environment and concentrate on your inside environment. Praying without having to watch the clock, and getting completely immersed in a book — those two things work best for me. Great blog!



  14. Lois Rotella
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    14
      · August 5th, 2016 at 2:48 pm · Link

    Linda, I know what you mean. I think we all need alone time to clear the mind. Cats can stare at nothing but I think they are clearing all thoughts. Have a good weekend.



  15. Lynn Hogan
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    15
      · August 5th, 2016 at 3:00 pm · Link

    Loved the Garbo ref! We all totally need a break now and again. Sometimes longer than others.
    Enjoy! :-P



  16. Lynn Hill
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    16
      · August 5th, 2016 at 4:02 pm · Link

    Oh Linda I totally agree with you! I think everyone needs to take some me time to unwind and recharge their battery! Be it through journaling, reading, meditating or what ever works for you! Our body and our minds need to be rebooted for their own good!



  17. Melaine Langi
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    17
      · August 5th, 2016 at 4:18 pm · Link

    Looks like your fans agree with you, as do I, about needing a day where you can totally chill. I live by myself, but still need those days on occasion…no phone calls, no running to the store or chatting with friends or neighbors, just complete alone time to be mellow. A necessary day for our sanity.



  18. Deborah Nelson
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    18
      · August 5th, 2016 at 4:21 pm · Link

    Completely understand :-) Peaceful solitude…



  19. Sharon S.
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    19
      · August 5th, 2016 at 4:49 pm · Link

    I often take Greta Garbo weekends. And, yes, I know who she was. Sometimes you just need to veg out.

    I lost my Pomeranian, Queenie last month, so I’ve been taking a lot of those weekends. I so miss having a Pomeranian around. They are such happy, sweet, joyful little dogs. I still have my Buster (Chiweenie) and Buddy the cat, who is twice Buster’s size, but I still miss the happy-go-lucky little girl.



  20. Virginia Horton
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    20
      · August 5th, 2016 at 5:13 pm · Link

    I like alone days. I have had that today until son and husband get home from work. Husband only works weekends and son is off weekends so if I get an alone day it is on Fridays and usually I do my housework that day. All that has been here today is me and my Little Man cat which stays outside most of the day. I can get a lot more done on my alone days.



  21. Nadine spradlin
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    21
      · August 5th, 2016 at 5:46 pm · Link

    Linda you are SO HUMAN . It’s no wonder that I like your writing so well. Alone time is much appreciated , but rare ENJOY !!!!!!!!!



  22. Diane Sallans
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    22
      · August 5th, 2016 at 6:50 pm · Link

    I enjoy a lot of ‘alone days’ – I have friends who never seem able to stay home & always want to be out doing something – I guess the differences in us makes the world go round. :-P



  23. Dona Kutska
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    23
      · August 5th, 2016 at 9:58 pm · Link

    I know what you mean. I need alone time with my dog too.



  24. Leanna
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    24
      · August 5th, 2016 at 11:03 pm · Link

    I love spending time with my dogs. They just want to be with you.



  25. Linn Carlile
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    25
      · August 6th, 2016 at 12:13 am · Link

    I know what you mean, I too need those alone and quiet
    times. That means everything off; even the phone. And then
    it’s just me and my 4-legged kid and a good book. Sometimes
    not even a book just total peace and quiet out in God’s great
    outdoors. Everyone should take some alone time. May you
    enjoy many more of these. God bless



  26. Rita C
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    26
      · August 6th, 2016 at 1:32 am · Link

    Greta Garbo weekend… go for it Linda. think I will join you,by myself that is, not together



  27. Rita C
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    27
      · August 6th, 2016 at 1:32 am · Link

    Greta Garbo weekend… go for it Linda. think I will join you,by myself that is, not together



  28. Clarita Goodspeed
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    28
      · August 6th, 2016 at 11:52 am · Link

    You so have the right idea!! Being 77 I know who Greta Garbo was and you two sure have hit the nail on the head. A “I vant to be alone weekend” sure sounds like the cats meow right now. Especially with all the Political nonsense going on right now. Keep up your good work and especially your good ideas. Love hearing them and reading your books!



  29. Peggy Casey
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    29
      · August 6th, 2016 at 2:35 pm · Link

    Thank you for this post Linda. I too am feeling that I need a Greta Garbo weekend. I even left home to sit with the fur baby of one of my dearest friends so I could have some solitude. But, being the creature of habit that I am… I brought my electronics with me. Mostly to catch up or play a game if I chose. Life as been so hectic lately that I just needed to be alone and quiet…. enjoy your lovelies… we eagerly await the creative genious that results from your aloneness.



  30. midge watkins
    Comment
    30
      · August 7th, 2016 at 6:56 pm · Link

    Oh yes. It makes sense. As an only child, I learned to amuse
    myself and need those Greta Garbo days. I love people (most)
    too, but I’ve found that I can’t get much done when others are
    around. Close friends excluded. Right now, however, I need
    someone to kick me in the b— to get me going.



  31. Lorelei Sawtelle
    Comment
    31
      · August 7th, 2016 at 9:00 pm · Link

    I call them “mental health” days. Love to put the phone on silent and just write!

    Two of my four children are also writing books. I am amazed at God’s goodness.

    Thank you again for the gratitude journal idea! You’re awesome. I thank God for you!
    Lorelei



  32. Lorelei Sawtelle
    Comment
    32
      · August 7th, 2016 at 10:50 pm · Link

    I’ve been reading some of your older blogs, circa 2005-2006. I read about your moving ‘back home’ and why you named the ranch the Triple L.

    What happened to the Lake House?

    I must read on . . .

    Lorelei



  33. Niki Davis
    Comment
    33
      · August 8th, 2016 at 9:25 am · Link

    I understand completely. I have a BFF that has a house on the St. John’s river and we go there every so often for one of those ‘unplug’ weekends. I may not be alone but it is close. I sit in the sun or on the back porch reading all day while she sits inside doing jigsaw puzzles or reading. We come together to eat or to watch a movie or 2 or 3 depending on our mood. We are such best friends that we can be in the same house together but doing our OWN thing and it not bother us at all. We know what each other needs and we know how to be that. There is just something about a weekend watching the river flow by. If only that river could talk.

    Niki



  34. Niki Davis
    Comment
    34
      · August 8th, 2016 at 9:25 am · Link

    I understand completely. I have a BFF that has a house on the St. John’s river and we go there every so often for one of those ‘unplug’ weekends. I may not be alone but it is close. I sit in the sun or on the back porch reading all day while she sits inside doing jigsaw puzzles or reading. We come together to eat or to watch a movie or 2 or 3 depending on our mood. We are such best friends that we can be in the same house together but doing our OWN thing and it not bother us at all. We know what each other needs and we know how to be that. There is just something about a weekend watching the river flow by. If only that river could talk.

    Niki



  35. Sherry Hughes
    Comment
    35
      · August 8th, 2016 at 11:24 am · Link

    In my area, one of the local radio stations has paired with another company to get people, especially families, off their technology devices. It’s called Tech Free Tuesdays. It really bothers me to see children constantly on some sort of device playing video games or texting their other young friends. When I was younger, we were outside playing from morning until the street lights came on. What happened to the good ole days?!



  36. Carol L
    Comment
    36
      · August 9th, 2016 at 6:47 pm · Link

    I think everyone needs to unplug every so often. My daughter signs off on her laptop every month for a week. Just to quiet her mind she says. Thanks for the post. I’m definitely old enough to remember Greta Garbo and her famous ” I vant to be alone ” line. Great idea. :)
    Carol L



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