I enjoy my ‘alone time‘.
After a weekend of social activities, I can’t wait for the silence of a home occupied by one… ME.
My husband is off at work and the quiet delights me.
I’m not a recluse by any stretch of the imagination. I go to meetings, hair appointments, the grocery store. I go to large events if I feel I need to go but that’s not very often.
Because the most wonderful, kind, high-energy people suck my energy like a vampire sucks blood. I feel drained after any big to-do.
During my days alone, I rarely turn on television. I listen to music and podcasts but most of my time is spent in blissful silence. I think better in a semi-noiseless environment. I breathe better too.
Now, I couldn’t be a hermit. I read The Stranger in the Woods-The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael L. Finkel and, as much as I admired Christopher Knight for his convictions, living completely alone for 27 years has no appeal to me. I do need some communication with others and I undoubtedly need heat, electricity, and skin-scalding hot water.
There are actually people I couldn’t live without seeing on a regular basis. You can guess who they are. It’s family, a few close friends, and the owner of my favorite BBQ joint. Other than that, I could probably survive.
My blog is about connections so this seems counterintuitive – craving ‘alone-time’. I do believe we’re on this earth to interact with each other. It’s just more of a struggle for me than for some people.
My sister and I went to Spain last year to walk the Camino de Santiago. I, of course, hoped the crowds would be small. I envisioned the constant contact with pilgrims as a challenge.
I was wrong. The people were interesting, funny, and insightful.
And maybe that’s what this trip was about for me. I met all kinds of people walking the Camino for all kinds of different reasons. I listened to their stories and they listened to mine. I felt the connections.
My ‘alone time‘ doesn’t give me this opportunity.
I did my time out in the world and I’m better for it but, yes, I was ready to get home to my solitude.
I think it’s okay to enjoy your own company. Throughout my life, I felt as if something was wrong with me because I wasn’t naturally social. After college and part of my twenties, I realized I was only a social butterfly when fueled with alcohol. That didn’t seem healthy.
As I got older, I came face to face with the truth of the struggle. Lots of people love to be out in the world but I can only take it in small doses. I’m slowly relieving myself of the burden of guilt if I chose not to go out into the world.
With age comes wisdom. Really.
I don’t believe I have social anxiety and if you believe you do, you need wiser words than these but, for me, after raising three children and being involved with every activity they participated in, maybe I deserve to spend the next few years in quiet.
Sometimes a good book is the only companion I need.
If Paulo Coelho agrees with me, at least I’m in good company.