I have spent three days talking about how much I love being alone, and how much it nourishes my soul. I said to my friend last week, “I think I was meant to be alone.” Of course I was basking in the afterglow of a jetted bath, face masque freshly washed off, tea in hand and the property brothers on the tv in front of me. I was in a unique and blissful and perfect setting. It was an amazing moment to relish.

But it wasn’t reality. It was a fantasy twelve hours in a hotel suite. I got to pretend to be single and childless for a few hours. And that’s the exact word: pretend. Because being alone is not my real life, so a few hours with nothing to do and no one to please was a treat.

Do I really want to be alone?

I think we all long for a respite from the day to day. People with no kids often love an afternoon with nieces and nephews but are more than relieved to let them go after a few active hours. Parents with small children often look forward to sleeping in, no matter how much of a morning person they are. I think everyone needs a vacation from their actual lives.

But do we want to change places?

Do we want that opposite life?

I loved my alone time. I love alone time. But I think I have a spouse and child for a reason. I think I have a small but well cultivated social network for a reason. I love having a family and friends AND I love to spend some time alone. Unfortunately, sometimes the balance gets shifted. When you’re a parent and/or have a needy spouse, you sometimes fall victim to the martyr syndrome: you do what you need to do to make everyone around you happy, but sometimes forget about yourself.

Cue the teeny tiny violins. Woe is me with my family and my friends while all I wish  for is solitude…

We adapt to our environments. We make the best out of whatever situation we find ourselves in. But it does get easy to get into the “grass is greener” mindset. It’s easy for me to talk about alone time because I don’t have to worry about being alone: I’m not. And conversely, someone who is single can crave family time and want it because they know they have the opposite.

So while I wax poetic about my two weekends alone, do I really want to make that 52 weekends?

 

36 thoughts on “Because I’m Not

  1. A question to contemplate for sure. I think it was Dear Abby or maybe Anne Landers who said ‘ Are you better off with him or without him?” in her advice column. Depends on the day, LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Honestly, lately I have yearned for the single life. But I know this isn’t what I really want long term…that week I had alone when they went camping last summer, I barely left the house. It was blissful. But…about a half week in I started to miss even the chaos a little bit. It was like I was itchy to schedule something or cook something or plan something or analyze the shoe closest to see which kid has outgrown stuff… You know?

    Back when my partner was still flying actively (airline pilot) it was pretty close to the happy balance. We both got regular, albeit short breaks from the relationship. Then the baby came along and shortly another one and he stopped flying and it was almost like overkill. Took a lot of years to adjust. Maybe that’s why I now crave the alone time so much…and, like you, revel in it when I do have the odd opportunity.

    The happy balance is hard to achieve…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Having now lived both, and various combinations between both worlds, I can see the pros and cons both ways. “The grass is always greener…” comes to mind when I think about this topic. I’m definitely not an either/or person. Some degree of balance is necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Once when my son was a teenager, we were talking about the fact that I was going somewhere by myself because my husband wasn’t available. I said I didn’t mind at all; that I enjoyed being alone. He said, “You’re basically a loner, aren’t you?” And I said, “yes.” “Then why do you have a husband and son?” “Some days I ask myself the same thing.” He punched my shoulder and said, “Good one, Mom,” in a rare appreciation of my attempt at wit.

    I’m acutely aware that being alone is a luxury, and that when I do get those rare bits of solitude, I have the great privilege of deciding when to end my alone time and rejoin the world/family. As much as I love being alone some of the time, I also fear a day that could come when I find myself truly alone.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Great post! I love my alone time as well. Its funny because there have been so many times my kids have said, “Oh Mom we are all going out for the evening and Dad is going away, you will be all alone, will you be okay?” I say, “I’ll manage.” as I secretly relish the time coming. LOL! BUT then the silence gets too long sometimes and I always am glad to hear their voices as they come through the door again!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love being a wife and mother. I have been both for the last 35+ years, which is over half my life. I think that if and when I will actually BE alone, I’ll adapt quite nicely. As for now, I’m with you, a day or two here and there keeps me happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great points! I enjoyed my year alone teaching overseas but after being married for a decade (at the time), I did get very lonely and I found that other couples did not include me with plans, so I went solo or with a friend. In retrospect, I wished he had the opportunity to share some of the nice things I saw and enjoyed including the wonderful month long hotel stay in Abu Dhabi. You do miss the ones you love!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Because my husband travels for work often and my children are grown and living far, far away, I get a great deal of alone time. It worries me that I might lose that when my husband retires in four years.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I hear you for sure. This is exactly how I feel. My boys were by their grandparents last night and all of today while my husband was at work… you can imagine the utter bliss I felt. But I’m looking forward to picking them up tonight! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I remember that reality show where people switched lives for a week. Most of them were really grateful to be back in their own lives at the end of the week. But they did learn to not take things for granted so much. It’s nice to try something different once in a while, but I’m always glad to get back to more normal.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve learned that life isn’t necessarily what we want, but what is. And we make choices with the twists and turns life throws at us. We learn to embrace and find happiness in the life we have.
    I didn’t expect my first marriage to break up, but it did. I didn’t expect to be a single mom in my mid 20’s, but I was. You go with the flow and so I was the best single mom I could be. I didn’t expect my second husband to die of pancreatic cancer at 55 but he did. I’ve learned that like the Rolling Stone song says, “You don’t always get what you want. But you get what you need.”
    We learn to adapt and adjust and live a good and full life no matter what life throws at us. And we all can adjust to anything and come out just fine. Human beings are pretty incredible. I’m good alone. I was good as a team.
    I adapt. The year after a bad car accident I went from wheel chair to walker to dancing again. We survive and then we thrive. I turned 70 this week. My children and grandchildren through me a Sherlock Holmes Mystery Birthday Party. It was amazingly awesome. And all I could think about was what a lucky lady I am.
    So, what I wanted or planned changed. But what I have is better than I ever could have imagined. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s