by Claudette Gadsden-Hrobak
The older we get the more we hear the questions: “When will you settle down?” “Why are you so picky?” “When are you going to give me grandkids?” Or how about, “These kids need a father/mother.” These questions and others like them have us going from one relationship to another, one after another, in search of the perfect mate and relationship. Do you ever enjoy the beauty of being alone?
For me, the time in between relationships became a time for me — a time for me to get to know myself better. This was the time to reacquaint me with me. This was a time to remember what was important to me, rather than “us.” When I think back to these times, I also remember enjoying this same feeling when my daughter was younger and traveled, leaving me at home. It was just about me. I love, then and now, being Mom and I love being me so I enjoyed my alone time. I could see any movie and it did not have to be Disney.
This is a time to remember what kind of movies you like. Have you been watching movies because your friends like a particular actor, director or genre? What would be your choice? Have you ever thought about it or do you just go along? I previously worked with a gentleman who has been married for about 40 years. A group of co-workers started having lunch together alternating choices among us. Whenever we got to this gentleman, he would defer to someone else. One day I asked him why he never had a choice about where we ate. He replied that he was never given a choice nor asked for his opinion when he went out with his family.
In that instant, I wanted him to enjoy the beauty of being alone. I asked him if he was alone and going to lunch alone what would be his first choice. He quickly replied, “Olive Garden” and the group had lunch at Olive Garden. After lunch, he shared with the group how liberating it felt to decide where we would go for lunch. He said that his wife always told him when and where they were going to dinner and he just went along with it. It became such a habit that when he had a choice, he did not take advantage of it.
The next time you find yourself alone, for an hour, a day, or a year, figure out what is important to you. Take this time to get to know you. When you know who you are and what is important to you then you can share this with those in your circle of life. How would I know what bothers you, if you have not taken the time to know what bothers you.
Here are a few things to try while you learn what a beautiful thing it is to be alone: First and foremost, be happy; learn a new hobby; volunteer; read; join an online community; exercise; go outside; and do something for someone else.
Enjoy the beauty of being alone.