Alone is not the same as lonely. I am far more likely to feel lonely in a room full of people that when I am by myself.
Alone for me is quiet, restful. I read, knit or sew, watch an old movie (mostly Cary Grant or the Marx Brothers), old tv shows or cartoons (I love Dobie Gillis reruns – truth be told, I love Maynard), write letters, or work around the house – you may have noticed which one was listed last!
Since my son moved out, and my daughter is not at home, I am home alone a lot. It is quiet. There is ambient noise – I live near the highway and I often have my windows open. I have two dogs. But there is no yelling in my house. It is peaceful…maybe “calm” is a better word. The environment is calm and I am calm. I only recently realized how much I crave, need, the calm and quiet.
I am not afraid in my city neighborhood. This neighborhood is familiar…I grew up here…my parents grew up here. I know if I have an emergency, my neighbors are available. We don’t socialize, but when we are out and see each other – we stop and talk.
I am not a hermit. I work, I go to school, I meet friends for lunch, see my parents and sisters. Occasionally, I participate in a girls’ night out or see a friend for dinner. Many of my acquaintances, friends and family are talkers. Although I enjoy their company, time spent with them is NOT quiet. And at the end of the day, I am ready to go home.
Home. I like my home. It is cheerful, comfortable, and since I live alone, everything is my way. I set the furniture, which I picked out, in an arrangement that pleases me. No one else is here to offer an opinion or request a change. When I first started moving things around to suit myself, I had no idea how much I would enjoy that…Everything is my way.
And I cook what I want! I love tomatoes, onions, spicy food. Even for breakfast. There is no one here to object and no one here to request something different when I decide to eat the same main dish all week.
It made me wonder for awhile, whether or not I would ever want to live with anyone again…whether I could go back to the give-and-take of other people in the house. And, of course, that made me wonder if I even want to date at all; there is a risk that things could turn serious…
A recent experience made me realize that I might be willing to adapt – and it surprised me.
I was visiting my gentleman friend (yes, he is just my friend), having dinner, clearing the table, playing cards…it was very “domestic.” I realized, that despite my current contentment, this domesticity was something I missed. It shocked me that I felt that way. I made some excuse and hurried home. I needed to think about that. I am still thinking about that….8 weeks later.