Thursday, August 26, 2010

How To Be Alone



I borrowed this sweet little video from Secret Notebooks...wild pages. It reminded me of those days before I married my husband and I lived alone. I remember the challenge of those years for me, surrounded by cohorts that were getting married and starting families. I wonder what I would do now, thirty years later.

I think of my mother-in-law facing this test at the advanced age of 97 after 67 years of marriage, and I am startled by her strength. I think of a dear blogging friend at the beginning of this journey, and I feel her fear, pain, and sorrow. How do we traverse this uncharted territory when our lives have been about sharing with others?

I guess we do it one step at a time. I guess we do it by being patient with ourselves.


40 comments:

GYPSYWOMAN said...

what a beautiful post, nancy! and on a subject too often not discussed - for whatever reasons - i have never had a problem being alone i think because i'm not lonely regardless of who i'm not with - except but infrequently, anyway - and then, perhaps only in my words unspoken blog! ;)

DJan said...

That was such a beautiful video, Nancy. I just have one question: I want to knit those awesome slippers she's wearing, that look like a harlequin would wear them! And I also don't have problems being alone, but it's because I make friends without even trying...

Nancy said...

Gypsy - I can be alone more than some. In fact I have a problem being with others too much.

DJan - I don't doubt that! :-)

lakeviewer said...

We have to be adaptable, bend or rise as needed. Life is what we make of it.

I'm not looking forward to it; but, I'm glad I can turn to people with ideas.
This was a most thoughtful post, Nancy.

Brian Miller said...

great post nancy...loved the vid...the words and the creativity of it...i tend to make new friends often myself but sometimes long for those deeper relationships...

California Girl said...

I watched an incredibly beautiful movie the other night, "The Namesake". It touches on this theme beautifully tho' it's not the main story.

Anyway, the movie really had me thinking how terribly sad and alone I will/would feel if my husband died. I always joke about it because there is some pretty decent insurance money but then I think, well, what will I do?

Wah!! I know the blogger of whom you speak and she is really brave.

maggie's garden said...

This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Kathy G said...

I spent two months of last year on my own, while Hubby was away on job training. It was quite refreshing.

Gemel said...

Beautiful, that will assist a lot of people.
And besides, she has a cat, the best company in the world ♥

Nancy said...

lakeviewer - Adaptable - yes, I guess that is exactly what we need to be.

Brian - I just watched a film by a man who had lost his wife and he said exactly the same thing.

California - I'll keep my eye out for that movie. Yes, the person is very, very brave. Her situation has me thinking - what would I do? Or, what would my husband do?

Maggie - You're welcome. I loved the little video - I loved her voice and her poetry.. all of it.

Kathy - LOL!!

Gemel - I noticed the cat, too. I think a pet helps tremendously. I'm a dog person, myself, and have always had one. Not that I haven't loved our cats, too...

Whitney Lee said...

This video's great. Thank you.

I like to be alone, though I'm sure part of that's due to the fact that I never am...I cannot imagine being alone due to circumstance as opposed to choice. I, too, know of people who have lost their spouses recently. My heart goes out to them.

Nancy said...

Whitney - I do remember those days when alone time was scarce, indeed.

Amy said...

Nancy, This was a wonderful video - I'm thinking I'll save it somehow and share with my daughters. During my lifetime there have been periods of profound loneliness and I'm not speaking of solitude.

Now that the girls are grown and my husband and I are in sync, I'm never lonely, but I do treasure the alone time I manage to get. Sometimes it almost feels self-indulgent, but, hey, I'm worth it! Draw a bubble bath and pretend I'm at the spa - one example. Like someone, probably famous, said, "Life is a trip."

Nancy said...

Amy - I know what you mean about solitude and loneliness - you don't have to be alone to be lonely.

Marlene said...

I have been thinking alot lately..at my age how prepared I am now if anything happened tomy husband...how would I handle being alone now since I have been 24 years..being spoiled and cared for..I really am never alone now..This video really makes me think...if I would have to learn how all over again....

Hilary said...

I absolutely loved this.
Wow, thank you so much

The Good Cook said...

This was a beautiful post Nancy. I wonder what the author has experienced that brought her to this place, this telling of her story.

I am learning what alone, solitary, lonely, what it all means.

I think once again we are in sync with each other as my post today deals with finding "just one thing, today".

Nancy said...

Marlene - I've had the same thoughts.

Hilary - I loved it, too.

Good Cook - What you are going through is on many of our minds. We're all vulnerable, it seems.

Hilary said...

What a great video. I find being alone used to be easier than I fear it might be these days. Food for thought. Thank you.

Amanda said...

oh i've been thinking these same thoughts lately, nancy, with my youngest now off to college in a few days.

yes, one step at a time. and being patient with ourselves. thank you for that - I will try to remember.

this video is lovely btw.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Terrific post. Thanks for putting up the video, too.

Nancy said...

Hilary - I think the more you're used to being with someone, the harder the adjustment process is going to be.

Amanda - I really liked it, too.

Trish - I thought you might like it.

ds said...

What a wonderful poem and video! Thoughtful, uplifting. There is a difference between loneliness and solitude, but it is often difficult to see. Thank you so much for sharing this, Nancy.

Nancy said...

ds - So glad you enjoyed it.

Pat said...

I don't think I'd have a problem being alone.

This was a really nice post. :)

Nancy said...

Pat - That's good to know.

ain't for city gals said...

Hello, I just found your blog and read a few of the earlier posts...can't wait until I read the rest...the one on pills and dementia..omgosh..I have been thinking this forever...also for the younger set on anti depressants..if they only knew how much damage they are doing...

Seraphine said...

one doesn't always have the luxury of choice. acceptance is a great alternative, humble as it is.

Seraphine said...

i love the tanya davis poem about being alone. especially when she says being alone is freedom.

being free is nice
when there's no price
on one's head.

Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy said...

aint for city gals - Welcome and thanks!

Seraphine - I agree. Humble though it is.

Reya Mellicker said...

Well ... I live alone but I share my life with a lots of others - friends, neighbors, family, clients, blog friends. Living alone (for me) is just like having a room of my own - except - well - it's a whole apartment.

People drop by for coffee or a drink or dinner, whatever. I've got people coming to visit from out of town.

Hmmm ... I guess I don't feel very alone!

Jo said...

I was once in a very bad relationship, and it was the loneliest I had ever been. I am one of the few people I know who actually enjoys my solitude. I never feel lonely. Of course, I work in a large office with very noisy (!!!) people, so I am often happy to get home, close the door behind me, and have some alone time. I find, also, that I can do as I please without answering to anyone. I have come to enjoy that. And when I want company, I have wonderful friends and family to be with.

But, yes, loneliness can be devastating at times.

Lovely video.

Nancy said...

Reya - You have a rich, full life!

Jo - I was the same way when I worked. It was such a pleasure to be home without the hustle and bustle. I think now that I don't work, it would be lonely to live alone. It would take putting together a new life, or going back to work. :-)

Jayne Martin said...

What a beautiful, intriguing video. I've been alone my entire (and considerable) adult life, but I've always had an abundance of fabulous friends that I can pick up the phone and call, meet for a drink, lunch or whatever. I'm rarely lonely because I don't have time to be and also, I like my own company. I like my dog, my cat and my horse. I'm just one of those people who has always liked the single life. But I do worry about my married friends, many of whom have older husbands. I wonder how they'll do and I know I will just be there for them in whatever way I can be.

Nancy said...

Jayne - You have created a full and happy life, obviously. A good reminder to make sure we create good support systems throughout our lives. And to be supportive of others, as well.

Mary said...

What a thoughtful post. Thanks so much for broaching this subject. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Nancy said...

Mary - Thank you - same to you!

Merisi said...

Thank you for sharing this exquisite, thoughtful video!

Nancy said...

Merisi - Glad you liked it.