Solitude is addicting.
I am craving it for some reason these days. I figured here, aka my therapy, is just as good a place as any to sort through it. Lately, I have desired coming home and being alone. Of course, as a full time single mom, there isn't ever really an alone, alone. Between bathroom interruptions and the inability to even take a shower when they are little, to the constant running and influx of kids at the house as teens, alone is always a coveted space. And with a dog - there is never alone time!
Now, to say I need to sort through it does not mean I think wanting to be alone is bad, necessarily. Independence is a very good attribute. However, in a recent conversation with a friend about this topic, he said, "Tracy, just be careful, solitude is addicting." I found this profound because it is! The more alone time I get, because teenagers also love space from parents, the more I crave it.
Beyond it being addicting, I want to know why. Why, for me, is being alone addicting. It should be mentioned here that I despise addiction in most instances. I even randomly cut things from my life that I love, like bourbon, just to prove I can. So what is it about solitude that I am craving and somewhat addicted to?
In trying to think of things that would make my home trump anything or any place else there is a few that come to mind. The weather, dear lord I was not built for the cold. I realize it is not as bad here in Virginia as other places, but the last thing I can manage is going out in temperatures that make my body ache. No thank you! Work, my brain is generally soup after a day of work, having to think more afterwards better be the happiest most pleasurable kind. Money, as a single mom sometimes times get tight. Budgeting is not for the weak and sometimes I have to say no because I simply cannot afford to keep up the spending.
Pants, yes you read that right. Pants are overrated and if I have to put them on leggings or sweats are the way to go after being in work clothes all day!
Company, the company I keep is as important as the air I breathe. If I surround myself with like-minded individuals who are positive, uplifting, and on a general realistic, forward-moving path the better my time is spent. Having a lot of friends is fine, having people who understand your often weary soul, who resonate life experiences with you, who challenge you to be better, who struggle too, are more my kind of people. These are all very reasonable explanations for the little time I want to spend out of my home. My family used to say I hibernated as a child sleeping for much longer than they considered "normal", maybe I am just part bear.
Above all else, the most resounding word that followed my solitude being addicting is that solitude is safe. I have created a life that is free of abuse, violence, drama (mostly, again, teenager) and most negativity. I am surrounded by my accomplishments and overcoming impossible situations. The safety of my home is paramount, and the peace it brings me is priceless. I am in control in my home. There is order, thank you OCD, there is physical strength, thanks challenges of home-ownership, there is love and warmth, thanks me... and my kiddo and pup too. My home is my refuge from the world - who wouldn't crave that?
For sure there is nothing wrong with craving being alone or craving being with people. To each their own I suppose. What writing this short piece has brought me is that I do not owe anyone an explanation. All of the things I listed above are plausible for my desire to stay in, what matters is what I want. Today, I want to be in my jams with my hot tea and a good book.
Wherever you are, I hope you have peace in your day whether alone or not.
**Let me add a note here, I wrote this two weeks ago, I don't always want to be alone, nor do I always want to be with people. I imagine most hold a balance between the two. When I wrote this I had an intense desire to enjoy my alone time, quite simply, but I also really, really enjoy the people I love too. Just felt a need to clarify.
Cheers - XX