What’s wrong with being “home alone” or having “solo” time?
For me absolutely nothing. I crave it.
This does not mean I don’t love my family and friends; I do truly madly and deeply. It is more a sign I have come of age and grown up enough to recognise the value and benefits of time alone. Whether it is quiet time chilling out and catching up on Netflix or spending hours writing, reading and practising yoga, being alone and going “solo” is therapeutic.
Are you thinking what does she know?
She’s married, has children and busy working life. There wouldn’t be the time in her day to be, “solo” and it is very different if you live alone and have yourself for company 24/7.
Yes, it is true what do I know about “home alone”?
I have been married forever and have grown up children I see very regularly. It has made it difficult for me to go “solo”, to accept my own company and take on adventures. Going “solo” was out of my comfort zone and as a child “home alone” for much of my childhood, I went the opposite way. Filling my days and nights and not being alone was how I survived most of my adolescence and later years.
The last few years I have changed and settled into companionable silence with myself. Being alone, spending time with oneself requires a level of self-confidence. Playing with others is so much easier than hanging out with our own thoughts. How much simpler it is to eat in a restaurant with friends or go to the movies with a partner? And what about travelling solo?
Travelling alone can be tough.
Confidence needs to be 100% intact as the experience can be nerve-wracking, fraught with challenges and oftentimes daunting. The flip side, the feeling of accomplishment and the mental pat on the back, makes the struggle for independence so rewarding. Leaving the comfort zone behind can be one of the most exhilarating experiences, however great or small.
Are you still thinking, but she has a choice?
She doesn’t have to be alone – she can duck in and out of a “solo” life when it suits her.
Yes, I accept this and know it is not the same to be alone 100% of the time. Perhaps for women who are single, it is the opposite? They become comfortable “solo” and struggle to socialise in the same way as those of us who are surrounded by people. Either way being comfortable in our own skins, with our thoughts and spending time alone requires mental fortitude and practice.
This is where my better, not younger comes into play.
Rejoice in “solo” time and regard it as a privilege, not a failure. There is no shame in being alone; whether by choice or circumstance, we must embrace it. Practice makes perfect and I believe we have to work at making our alone time positive. We must fight against FOMO, for what are we really missing out on? Can’t we create an experience to be equally interesting and rewarding for us? Why must we wait for an invitation to see and do what we want?
Being still and settled with our thoughts takes the pain out of alone time. Can you be still, really still? Relaxation and the ability to wind down, whether through meditation or exercise, quieten the mind and allows for peaceful composure. Tranquillity is restorative and a powerful antidote.
Once we learn to be “quiet” we also experience contentment. Contentment is everything. The desire for what we don’t have is such a waste of time and harbour for negative energy. It is impossible to spend time alone if we covet all that is around us. Appreciating what we have and who we are and celebrating this makes “solo” a prize, not a penance.
Does your kind heart extend to you? How easy it is to shower others with our time and generosity and forget us. A little reclusive behaviour can be the best time to work on us.
The big one, self-confidence, is the holy grail of “solo”. When my morale, self-assurance and composure are at their best, being alone is easy. My inclination is to “go for it”, whatever that might mean and set an agenda that is dependent on nobody but me. This is not selfish; it is courageous and adventurous.
Going “solo” – let’s work on it alone, but together. xv
At The Skating Rink
a similar wrap-up
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