A Need for Solitude
Loneliness is marked by a sense of isolation. Solitude, on the other hand, is a state of being alone without being lonely…
Do you like solitude?
Even as a child, I needed time alone on a regular basis, and would feel tense if I didn’t get that solitude often enough. I still need that time. I don’t mean that I prefer to be alone than with other people, but I have to have time to myself every day. I get incredibly stressed if I don’t get it.
When I look back, it used to be easy to get time alone. These days, with three young children, it’s increasingly hard to come by. I often end up staying up for an hour when everyone else is asleep just to get some space for myself. Since it’s often gone midnight when PK goes to sleep, it means staying up late. Sometimes I go without but I really feel it when that happens.
It occurred to me, when I went to the allotment the other day on my own, that time spent digging the weeds up, on my own, is just as good as, no – is better than, time sitting on my own late at night. I need to time to think, to just be – I don’t particularly want time to spend getting my nails done or being pampered – it’s the head space I crave.
I’ve noticed this same tendency in Bean lately. He’s begun taking himself off for a walk around the block during the day, especially if he and his siblings have been winding each other up. He also needs time to himself, and he’s not guaranteed it, even in his own room, with two a younger brother and sister in the house who worship the ground he walks on, whilst simultaneously arguing with him!
It’s days like these, where they’ve been bickering constantly, that he most benefits from his walk. It’s days like these that leave me most in need of some head space too – if only I could just go and walk around the block on my own!
What about you – do you need time on your own regularly, or do you prefer to be with others as much as possible?