27 Apr 2017

The Best Kept Beauty Secrets #16

The Best Kept Beauty Secrets: Alone Time on vickiarcher.com

Beauty comes in many different packages.

Being beautiful is a life long work and of course I am not meaning the physical attributes here. Yes, most of us want to be more beautiful in whatever way is acceptable and desirous to us but deep down we know it is a lot more complicated than diet, exercise, needles, scalpels and potions.

Internal beauty requires dedication.

The kind of beauty that makes us wake up each day and feel well within, beauty that makes us engage positively with others, be generous and for the most part enrich the lives of those we love and those around us.

This is not a one, two three easy beauty secret to share; we can’t take it or buy it but we can work towards this.

The beauty secret I am talking about is alone time.

As I move through my years I feel the need for more alone time. Not because I am anti-social or don’t enjoy the company of friends and family but rather it is a restorative time. It is different to “me time” in that “me time” can be shared with others; alone time is about feeling truly comfortable on your own.

Spending time alone can be tough to handle and perhaps if a life is lived alone as routine my sentiments may not resonate. Does a solo life finds the company of others nature’s beauty secret?

I appreciate my alone time as so much more than “me time”. It is a time to focus and a time to feel well within myself. It is the place to search and find contentment, to be happy with the status quo and to reflect. Having only myself as company does really feel like the most wonderful gift at times. Alone time can be quiet, it can be noisy and equally happy or sad depending on our moods and circumstances and yet I don’t think of it as maudlin but rather as a privilege and one not to be frittered away.

When I say “alone time” I am not entirely a purist.

A serious soul might be strong enough to eliminate company all together, including the computer, books and social media. My version of alone time allows the external influences; “me time” is when I detox from the frantic digital life. This kind of alone time is not only a time to seek personal contentment but also a catch up time. A selfish moment to bask in what others may not necessarily want to share.

When I am alone if I feel like staying up all night and reading I will. Skip dinner, I can. Fancy a dinner alone, I’ll do it. Can’t be bothered with hair and make-up or wearing the right clothes, who cares? Alone time is when decisions like these don’t matter and compromise ceases to exist.

It’s so good for us.

Why is alone time one of the best-kept beauty secrets?

Inner contentment, being confident within our own skins is not only a gift to you but also a precious gift for others. Learning to be satisfied and fulfilled on our own enables us to be better companions with partners, friends and families.

Taking time out is refreshing and breathes life into relationships, especially when the time is well spent. Time alone doesn’t have to be weeks or even days; sometimes an afternoon alone is like a shot of adrenalin or an energising tonic. Facing our true selves with less distraction is a positive. We mightn’t like our own company all that much sometimes but how rewarding for us to know our foibles and have the possibility to work on them.

Alone time often makes us confront that which we prefer to conceal in a whirlwind of social activity or work. That’s not a bad thing.

Most of all I believe a contented woman, a happy and confident women is the most beautiful of all and if a little alone time now and then means this then that is one best kept beauty secret. xv


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images of agyness deyn by tim walker for vogue 2011

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Anita Rivera

I couldn’t agree with you more. One of the things that concerns me about our society these days is the fact that people (especially young people) are not satisfied with themselves; they need to be winning all the time, being first, being “liked”, searching for meaning in ways that offer no meaning. Yes, I am talking about the digital world that I feel is sucking up kids’ minds. They think they are no longer alone with the phone in their hand, the world in their possession. But they are alone. And that “loneliness” is being misinterpreted. The solitude of which you speak is a healthy thing, I’ve come to learn. It keeps us connected to ourselves, our morals, our dreams, our tender side. I dare say, it keeps us connected to our maker, our “bigger than us” component. I started writing a poem speaking of this matter, I must finish it when summer comes, when I have more of this “me time” to me just with myself.

Awesome post, Vicki.


A great point Anita… needing to be “liked” or “applauded” or “rated” in relation to others is a dangerous game…. We are lucky we don’t play it but the younger generation don’t even know they are doing this. They need a little “disciplined discernment” a la Jo :)

Mimi Gregor

Alone time has always been vital to me, but I never thought of it in relation to beauty. For me, it’s vital to my sanity. I am by nature an introvert, so that being around other people continuously for a prolonged period can make me go “circus elephant” and start snapping at people. Once I have my alone time, I feel recharged, and can get back into the fray.


And that makes you feel so much better, happier and therefore to the outside world as well as you… more beautiful, Mimi :)

Jo Davis

Thank you for this article, Vicki. I am a huge extrovert who has been finding herself very much content in the just staying at home and relishing being by myself. I am 64 years old and retired ten years ago. The first few years after retirement, I tried to fill up every moment with social and volunteer activities and now have begun a process of disciplined discernment in what I “take on” during the day. What I might accomplish is catching up to on magazines! (But that is a rarity.) We don’t always have to be BUSY. So true do these words ring, and I heard them from my mother so many times! I love my life and give thanks every day for the small (and large) bits of fulfillment present.


Disciplined discernment… that is a fabulous expression, Jo.

We don’t have to surround ourselves with “noise” but it is hard to not only find the alone time but also make ourselves take it when it is on offer. Easier to be BUSY, as you so rightly say.. :)

david terry

Well, perhaps this isn’t entirely to the point, Vicki, but?……

I just read your posting after reading a “fan letter” (these come fairly regularly, these days) from a woman I met through friends at a benefit-concert two nights ago. At the time, she did what everyone seems to do, which is to get around to asking what I “am” and/or “do”. Given what I am and do, I lead a life with a glaringly public side (which doesn’t really bother me at all, since it’s how I make money in this world), but the fact remains that I spend about 90% of my waking hours quite contentedly alone…..and have done so for years.

Somewhat apropos (I hope) of your posting?…..I was surprised that this woman, having taken my card and afterwards gone through my website, gave me a few carefully-phrased compliments before adding a quotation from, of all unexpected folks, Ray Bradbury:

““We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled.
The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over
And let the beautiful stuff out.” —-Ray Bradbury

I’d never read that before this morning (and, yes….she did end her email with “You seem to be quite the trickster”, which I took as a great compliment). I imagine, having been a reader of yours for years, that you’ll agree with Bradbury that the “trick” isn’t necessarily buying more stuff and stuffing more stuff inside…..but, rather, gaining the sense to recognize and let out what you already have.

Lovely posting, Vicki, and thank you.

David Terry (who is about to spend this Spring day washing all the windows on the 220 year old house…howz that for a solitary, but VERY gratifying activity?)


Yes, a beautiful and perfect quote David.
“Trickster” must be one of my favourite expressions and I agree a great compliment. Enjoy the windows… I cleaned out our agricultural shed this morning!! It did feel good and I unearthed some great and not so great “treasures”. It was incredibly cold work.. somehow Spring has decided to disappear for a moment in Provence… but very satisfying. :)


Lovely post Vicki and oh so true. A wonderful way to reset your mind and your body.
A much needed time. The world is noisy with many distractions, alone time cancels the
world for awhile.


Reset is a great description … and cancelling the world out… I think we need it from time to time :)


I completely agree. I do my best work when I’m alone. In fact, sometimes I postpone completing a project UNTIL I’m alone. The introspection, the decision making, all seems to be better & faster. Of course, my wonderful dog is always with me and he actually helps the process as when he’s here I’m calmer. Thank you for an insightful, thought-provoking post, Vicki. xx’s


A doggy companion doesn’t count, Marsha ;)

It’s true though, there is something about the focus that really can occur with a little alone time…

Mona Turner

Spoken straight from your heart! I truly feel 100% in agreement with you and your dear friend Anita. I have come to many “aha!” moments in my moments of solitude. This truly is a “beauty” post!


I thought so too, Mona… funny but this is one of my favourite topics… because I think we all speak to “true” beauty here and I know it does make a difference and that it is what really counts.. :)

Linda B

This post is so very spot on, Vicki! Also I have enjoyed reading through the comments. I was just saying to a colleague I am close to yesterday that I am suffering from being in a period of not only extra duties at work, but extra TIME at work and with extended family that has prevented any substantial quiet alone time for a while. My work demands that I put on a strongly extrovert exterior, but I remain eternally an introvert deep inside. I don’t feel “beautiful” when I am not restored by enough alone time. Sometimes, it just can’t be helped; but I am hoping for a few good hours of me time tomorrow afternoon,. Cross your fingers for me.


I hope you manage it Linda… and enjoy the alone time… :) Isn’t it interesting how we swap and change our personalities depending on where we are? Introvert, extrovert or vice versa.. I think that is a skill we woman have well mastered..


it’s a long process to come into that feeling but when accomplished it can be a time to discover your real “this is me” and grow in your personality. Personally I like it to have
that time as older I get.


Maybe it’s a growing more mature feeling… although I seem to remember enjoying and needing my alone time all during my life :)

Angela Muller

Hi Vicki

Important post…I have always needed a certain amount of solitude in my life…replenishes my soul and makes me a better communicant.

lisa thomson

I just love these photo images, Vicki. Thanks for referencing them as I’ll check on line Vogue for the full spread (hopefully it is online ;) ). I agree that inner beauty shines on the outside and while we all get that in different ways, alone time, and happiness top the list.


Yes, yes, yes! What a great post as already said above in the responses. In my 60’s I am still stunned at the women racing around to “do” and be seen doing it! Like a junior high school competition. I have found my mellow spot and I love it…it does most definitely make me a more graceful and grace filled person.

Ellen Shook

Well said. I used to send my husband off to his parents periodically, just so I could breathe. Now I find that I need him more, so I don’t, but we do give each other space every day. The period of time required does not seem to be as long any more, or maybe I am just getting older.

Sue J.

Excellent post, Vicki. I have always enjoyed alone time. I think we all need to stop and listen to our inner voices from time to time. It’s even more important when one’s life is busy…and whose isn’t? Thank you for your lovely blog and your website…love them!

Lisa DeNunzio

Well said Vicki. As women I believe we are natural givers. It is our instinct to nurture others and when one has a family we can be the last to be considered. I liken it to the announcement made on airplanes, “Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, and then help others”. If we do not take care of ourselves, give ourselves time to replenish our soul, then there is precious little to give others.


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