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?