Monday, February 28, 2011

Is being ALONE underrated?

Having never really lived alone I don't feel very qualified to answer this question. I lived at home with my family growing up; then briefly (3 months) had a bachelor suite while going to college; then moved into shared accommodation while working as a chambermaid at a Banff hotel; then went to a live in nanny job; then back to my parents for two months; then into a room mate situation; then had my own place for 9 whole days before I met my first husband and he basically started to stay there semi permanently; then lived with him for the next 18 years; then lived with my kids; then my next husband moved in and here I am today! So not sure that 3 months and 9 days qualifies as ever having lived alone? Actually sounds kind of pathetic when laid out like that!

I, of course now live with my family and shall until either I die, or the kids move out and my husband passes on. Not dwelling on dramatic or anything, just looking at why sometimes I want to scream if I don't get my way! No, really, I just need space sometimes. Now, to me, space does not mean living in the same home as other people when you basically are not speaking to each other, that is just creepy and is always incredibly frustrating. Space does not mean everyone doing their own thing without any interaction. Space does means I do my thing, don't feel like I am letting anyone else down by not doing what they want; not feeling like I am being judged for what I do or don't do; not feeling like I am being selfish; not feeling as though there is some annoying undercurrent of something bothering someone; not being ignored or feeling like I or they are trying to hard to make people happy.

I have recently talked to people who are going through life changes, either separation, a spouse has passed away, they know that something drastic is on the horizon or they are planning to make a midnight move. I just don't think any of those types of knowing you will be alone ever feel good. I suppose if you are alone by choice and you are comfortable with it and not always hoping to just find someone, that it can be pretty cool.

I think that I would enjoy knowing that I can make as much as I want of something, as little, make it decadent, or severely healthy; I can clean OR not; I can go for a walk without feeling like I should but just do it because I want to, OR not; I can go visit someone and stay away all day without worrying about another or when I should get home. I can buy a bottle of wine and watch it age on the shelf and dream about the day I open it or I can drink the whole thing in one night, just because. I can cry and let myself take a depression day for no reason other than, I need to clean out my tear ducts. I can laugh and watch stupid shows on TV all day, not because they make any difference in the world but because it just feels good to belly laugh at stupid antics. I can watch tear jerkers and have an old movie day like Gone with the Wind or download the whole Mad Max series and remember Mel Gibson before we found out he was an alcoholic, cheating, wife beating, anti Semite. I can stay in my jammies for two days without going anywhere (I would still brush my teeth though, because otherwise it is just gross!) and not answer the phone or I can dress up really nice, put make up on and make a trip to town to have a dinner out even if I can't afford it. 

I guess the fun part would be the fact that you don't have to justify anything. This doesn't mean you shouldn't ever justify anything, just a relief to be absolved of that from time to time. Now, this doesn't mean that by being alone you get to whine or cry about it, because in my scenario we are talking a choice. I don't think anyone ever really plans to spend their life alone, but it happens and we can learn to like it. The other great part about being alone is that you can have people over to visit that you like and not have to invite people you don't like because someone else might want them to come over. You can sit up and talk and laugh loudly all night without bothering anyone; or you can go to bed at 8:00pm because you are tired.

I don't know, being alone sounds like it has some definite advantages. I am not planning anything, not making any changes, just thinking that if we have not completely destroyed our planet, not used up all the fossil fuels, my kids eventually move out and should I some day be living alone, I just might do some of those things. (I might have to get a house pet to talk to though, because clearly my voice needs to be heard.) In the meantime, I love my little life! I would like those people who are undergoing change, planned for or not, to think about some of the things they have that we who have people with us all the time don't have. So, maybe for five minutes you won't feel sad or lonely. 

Come on! Now get out some movies that you used to love that are no longer politically correct, make up a big tub of popcorn, stay IN your jammies, NO getting dressed! Grab a half sack of beer or some fizzy pop, kick up your feet, unplug the phone, turn off Facebook and email and remember the good times! 


Anonymous said...

Insightful my friend. I think I've been alone for a whole month of my adult life - as one of five girls, having time alone was extremely rare. We need to allow ourselves to enjoy ourselves more rather than relying on others to make us happy ~ I think that's the secret - just be happy :)
Thanks for sharing!

.........Sarah Sherman said...

Dear anonymous, thank you! :)

Anonymous said...

I lived alone 2yrs between marriages. Or should I say between divorse and meeting someone again. Of course, because of the circumstances it was often a sad time, however, I had never felt so free.
Although I love my present husband, there are times I really miss those times. I feel I didn't appreciate it enough when I had that independence.
One thing, although before getting into another relationship I had promises of all duties being 50/50 I find over several years it has again become 90/10. With my spouse only vacuming once a month and doing dishes once a week.
We always pay for the 'Man" jobs. Grass cutting, repairs etc. Yet, the womans work is never done. I love him dearly, am happy and wouldnt change things. Don't want anything to happen to him. We have a big age difference so like you, it will eventually happen. I agree with you totally.
When the time comes try to embrace the change.

busybee said...

Being an only child until i was 7 gives me a different slant on this. But similar. I still do enjoy my time alone, because now lol, as a mother of three i know what I'm missing. I lived alone for 2 years after graduating and a year while going to college. But now, bless my children, when i'm tired or achy they leave me alone, but make supper and pamper me a little.I remember when the only time i got alone was in the shower when the kids were sleeping.Now sometimes i like it, but mostly i miss them when they can't be with me.which is only for a few hours in a day, but i truly feel complete when they are all around me.Going through three family break-ups has made me this way.So sorry, there was a time when i ached to be alone, but not now. whether they are bickering or sleeping, i would rather have the time with us all together than not.Christmas was wonderful, as we were all together.I wouldn't trade that for the world.