Love Your OWN Company—Alone Time is Not Lonely

Dara LevanBlog3 Comments

     “You talk so much that I’d save a ton of money if I could somehow use your mouth to power my building! I’ve never seen anything like it!”
     My trainer has been telling me this for eight years. Forrest is both entertained and flabbergasted by my verbal output. I sing, tell jokes, and chat with others around me.
      One day, just to prove a point, I didn’t utter a single word for an entire hour. He thought I was injured and was quite concerned. He said, “Don’t you ever do that again!”
      Forrest shakes his head frequently and remarks, “This is unreal!” He’ll increase the weight or difficulty of an exercise. I crack jokes or continue with some other jibber jabber. I tell him he’s just jealous that he cannot multi-task, which is the case for nearly all men I know!
     Forrest and other friends of mine don’t believe what I am about to share: I enjoy silence. I can exist and actually flourish without constant interaction. In fact, my sweet husband took the kids out for a few hours Sunday so I could write. My home was completely quiet. It was total bliss.
     This is a rather recent revelation. As I’ve written in earlier blog posts, I am supposedly an extrovert. I thrive on conversation, learning, and laughter. Yet every moment I spend alone, I realize and appreciate the value of solitude.
     Our lives overflow like the coffee I misjudged this morning. It joined the milk and splattered onto my formerly clean countertop. White paper towels soaked in the hot, hazel-brown liquid. As I cleaned up the spill, I thought about how scattered thoughts and feelings are absorbed when I make time to be alone.
     A few days ago, I talked about these epiphanies with one of my dear friends. Rachel enjoys being alone. So while we were together, I thought why not discuss this topic with her?
     We both agreed there’s so much noise in our lives. I asked her if she thinks working full time and having kids, which she does, impacts her desire to spend time without anyone else. Rachel pursed her lips and paused as she contemplated my question.
     “I’m sure it does,” she replied. “I always have someone needing me at some point during the day or at night. But honestly, I’ve always enjoyed my alone time.”
    She has been a constant and candid sounding board. Not only for my ideas, but for all facets of our multi-decade friendship. I am so grateful for her significant presence in my life. I told her so, and shared that I’m awakening to this sumptuous side of solitude.
     We are an unlikely pair: She is linear, logical, and forever practical. I am spiritual, spontaneous, and always up for an adventure. We find our differences humorous. And laughter is one commonality we certainly share. She is witty, and most importantly, a loyal, loving, no nonsense beautiful human being.
     I asked Rachel why she thinks people don’t like to be alone. “Maybe they are worried what others think of them. I could care less,” she said with a shrug. Yet another aspect of my friend that I absolutely adore.
    Hmmmm. Interesting, Rach. I added that many people seem to run from rather delve into their feelings. When you are by yourself, it’s harder to avoid that which you perhaps push away. I love to organize my closet at odd hours and randomly declutter rooms. This is not only productive, but it’s probably at times distracting my meandering mind.
     When I am hanging out alone, I often take photos of nature. I write, create, read, and walk outside without music. Lately, I am trying to still my mind and body while doing nothing for at least five minutes. That’s certainly a challenge for me.
     It is not lonely to be alone I told her. I added that I feel recharged, calmer, and clearer after even one hour with just me. She looked at me with mix of “That’s a perfect way of putting it, and DUH you’re just figuring this out?” Did I mention she’s a bit sassy mixed with raw honesty, too? I love her.
     The past few years, I am finally saying no to others and yes to myself. I am not consistent yet. But as we all are, I’m a work in progress. We only have the present. Although I knew this in theory, I didn’t truly practice living mindfully and with conscious consideration for my own needs.
     I always thought that was selfish. But it is not. It is self care. I am making a concerted effort to have at least a few meals a week by myself. I take my time chewing rather than inhaling my food. I sip slowly instead of slurping rapidly. A meal can be meditative. Simply taking a few minutes to sit outside alone and observe nature shifts my energy for the rest of the day.
     Hosting people at my home truly brings me joy. I love having people gather and make memories together. My favorite moments are when friends or cousins visit with us. Boisterous banter boomerangs throughout our home. The more the merrier!
     However, I am learning to love my OWN company just as much as others’ presence. Speaking of which, I just realized how late it is, and I’m still in my pajamas. My sister and brother-in-law are coming over in less than an hour. I need to shift gears, change my clothes, and start cooking!

3 Comments on “Love Your OWN Company—Alone Time is Not Lonely”

  1. Luv luv being with friends but cherish my alone time. In fact, if i don’t get it I am not as much in my good way. I totally get it !! Ty for sharing ?

  2. I love my alone time too! And you know how extroverted I am. Everyone needs to recharge internally.

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