Solitude

 

Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.

Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.

This entry has been floating around in my head for a while now and I thought I’d try and get it out today.  Solitude is something I treasure.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m also quite the social butterfly as my calendar would reflect – but I love the quiet.

In a house with two young children, I don’t often get alone-time.  I find myself envying Trey’s business trips because he gets to be alone.  It’s funny, though, because his perspective is completely different.  He doesn’t always like eating alone in restaurants or doing things by himself when he’s out of town.  Here, it tends to be different because he has his projects lined up and he enjoys getting the work done, often working alone, but when traveling, he prefers traveling with others.

I’m different.  I credit that with being raised an only child in a single parent household.  I spent a lot of my time growing up on my own.  I learned to do things independently of others.  Naturally, as Trey and I became partners, that changed, but it took some effort on my part.

I love having solitude drape around me like a soft blanket.  I find my peace and my center when I’m off on my own, away from the everyday noise of life.  I enjoy sitting in a coffee shop just watching people around me.  Wandering down streets and markets and window shopping is a great way for me to spend the afternoon.  The idea of traveling to another country solo intrigues me.  One of the things on my “bucket list” is to hike the Appalachian Trail.  But I want to hike it solo.  

I’ve noticed that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more comfortable in my skin.  I know who I am and I know what I want (usually).  I thoroughly enjoy hanging out with Trey, the kids and our friends.  I look forward to family vacations, date nights, a girl’s night out, my mom’s group, the noisy chaos of Christmas with extended family and family reunions.   But I also treasure those times when it’s just me, wrapped up in that blanket of solitude.  For me, there has to be a balance of the two.

Where do you find your center; what’s your balance?

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8 thoughts on “Solitude

  1. Pingback: Link Love Friday | Me(me), Myself and I Edition

  2. I would gladly wrap myself in solitude like a soft blanket. Alas, my moments are rarer than emeralds. Cindy and I do all we can to safeguard minutes for one another, but we also realize that these years are the good old days and solitude will land like waves on our shores in no time at all.

    • You’re right about these being the good days and I love the imagery of solitude being an ocean, but sometimes it’s hard to see it in the midst of everyday life. As always, thanks for stopping by and writing your words, Writer Dad.

  3. Solitude is where I get fed. Crowds and social gatherings take work for me emotional and spiritual energy. But, just as social people find themselves in moments of solitude and have to seek the company of others to re-energize, I enjoy the company of others but seek solitude to re-energize.

    For me, it’s a matter of listening to my heart. When it’s time, I tell my wife, “Just went on overload.” Then she knows it’s time for me to take a walk, read a book, listen to some music or find a quite place to meditate/pray.

    My challenge is balancing the social demands with the needs of my Soul.

    And I come from a family with six children; my wife is one of eleven. I think it is just temperament!

    Thanks for your post…

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I couldn’t imagine coming from such a large family. My father did, so I guess maybe I could imagine it. Christmas time with all the aunts and uncles is a chaos rarely witnessed outside of the family home.

      I usually call it “decompression time” and both Trey and I need it sometimes, but not too long ago I coined the term “retail therapy”. I was wandering the aisles of Target with my ipod on but I wasn’t really buying anything. I was just enjoying the time off in relative solitude. It’s a necessary thing once in a while.

  4. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. ~Henry David Thoreau, “Solitude,” Walden, 1854

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