The solace I find in re-connecting with myself, whether it is found in the quiet of a slumbering house at dawn, a walk among the trees, or watching the sun slip behind the horizon, is beyond measure. It has been my experience, that when my mind stills, my heart opens up to all that is possible.
It wasn’t always that way, years ago being alone left me feeling restless. I always wanted to be going somewhere, surrounded by people, never sitting still. And there was also what I think of as “the revolving boyfriend door” era, where ending a relationship signaled permission to begin a new one.
No, spending time alone has not always been on my priority list.
Eventually it caught up to me. Somewhere early on in my separation from my first husband I realized I really didn’t know who I was; a pretty grim prospect given I was 26, headed toward divorce and the mother of a three year old. But that single epiphany was perhaps one of the most vital of realizations because it eventually led me toward a sustainable sense of wholeness.
I started out slow. Time alone in my condo when my son was with his father. A trip to the coffee shop to sit, write and think. A day skiing at the local mountain. Oh I still filled plenty of my hours surrounded by people but, eventually I craved the time tucked away in my own thoughts to think, feel and be.
Two years ago while attending the LunaFest event with my friend Lois, they featured the short film, How to be Alone, a delightful vignette created by Andrea Dorfman which explores the first steps of spending time alone. This beautiful film is a poignant reminder that love, begins inside…
Cathy Chester says
I’m still learning how to be alone because I/we are always evolving. But I do enjoy it more than when I was younger. I find great value in it just as you do. Part of any wellness plan should definitely include quality alone time, Elin.
Agree. And I think it’s something helpful for young people to learn, particularly given how tied into electronic communication they are now.
I am a hoarder of many things, including my “alone time”. I spend most of my day surrounded by people, mostly strangers — fetching this, fetching that, constantly being ordered about, if not by the folks I’m waiting on then by management. I never stand still for a second. No part of my work day is unexamined. I feel like I am constantly “on display”, and not in a good way.
When I get home there are always any number of things to do, dinner, laundry, etc. While my daughter being away at school has lightened my load somewhat, there are still things that require my attention on a daily basis.
Usually by 7 PM I can work in a few minutes to think. Sometimes my husband will find me, sitting quietly — no book, no television, no computer, sometimes no light, even. When he asks me what I’m doing and I respond, “Nothing.”, I really do mean “nothing”. I love it. More importantly, I need it. I think we all do.
Love that Jackie. And I so agree-we all need it. Good for you to find those moments of peace…