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Alone but not Lonely

Updated on March 23, 2013

"Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it."
~ M. Scott Peck

Everyone could use a little"Alone Time."

How is it that I can be all alone on a Saturday night, enjoying a solitary meal and not feel anywhere near as lonely as I can in crowds of people? Working as much as I do, I have discovered through the years that I often enjoy a quiet evening at home. It started even before the kids were born. I was working full time with several part time jobs. There always seemed to be family and social obligations. Being the big sports aficionado that he was, my husband was often either at a ballgame, playing ball or watching one on TV. Instead of playing the "football widow" role, I took advantage of it. I would clean the house, chill some wine, grab a book and lay on the couch and read. How decadent! I learned to enjoy and treasure those solitary moments when all was right with the world. They gave me the strength for the less than solitary, for the hustle and bustle that was our usual routine.They gave me something to look forward to during my busiest, most frustrating hours. They were my drug, my tonic and I never, ever felt lonely.

"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much" ~Jackie Kennedy

Finding time to take a break with a Growing Family.

As our family grew, so did our responsibilities and our schedules. My time off was less frequent but still enjoyed. Often it had to be scheduled after a little one finally fell asleep! No matter, it was still very welcomed! Then my circumstances changed a lot. I suddenly found myself alone with 2 preteens and no nights off! But eventually, it happened, they got older! They began to have places to go and things to do that no longer included me! I had my solitary Saturday evenings back. Oh, how I loved them! Just thinking about those evenings, I remember. I remember how I felt, what I was wearing, what I read and what I ate. Well, not really, I just know what it would have been. I can see myself lighting candles, putting on music, cooking a simple meal. And I never felt lonely. I never felt lonely because I wasn't alone. It was a retreat, a reprieve, "me time" and what made it so special was the fact that in a few short hours, the noise and joy of my family would return once more. The perfectly lined up pillows, the floors vacuumed "just so", that would all get messed up as soon as they walked in the door.But that was okay because those retreats were my proof that a house could stay clean for more than 5 minutes. They were my proof that I was an individual. An individual who deserved some pampering!

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

dwindling numbers

Last year I sent my baby to college. Instead of fearing the empty nest, I embraced it. I found that i really enjoyed not having to cook and clean for everyone. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. It was me and two beautiful kitty girls. It was peaceful and relaxing. No more trying to find "me time." Everyday allowed for that. It's not to say that I didn't miss them or that I wasn't excited when they came home for the weekend or holidays. It was simply that for the past seven years, I have been both mother and father and I was ready for a break! It was fun being able to come and go as I pleased.Sometimes it got lonely but for the most part I enjoyed it. I was so busy enjoying it, I forgot that my son would be graduating that year! I also didn't account for the fact that my daughter would miss me too much to be two hours away!

"I take a very practical view of raising children. I put a sign in each of their rooms: “Checkout Time is 18 years.”~Erma Bombeck

Full House again!

Now both of my chicks have returned to the nest and along with them two more cats. We lack order and discipline. We have more cats than people and two of them are babies! Our environment is chaotic. I am still trying to find my way up and out but it is difficult. My main release has been in my writing. So...write I will! Because they are older and have their own friends and activities, I still have alone time. Since our home has over doubled in numbers this year, we still haven't really found our rhythm. I am not too worried. We will find it and when I find my "me time", it will be welcomed like a cherished old friend.

Just for fun

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    • Maria Cecilia profile image

      Maria Cecilia 4 years ago from Philippines

      I guess finding happiness in our solitude is important, it means we can still be happy at times when our love ones are not available for us. sometimes you got used to staying all alone that it became a surprises when love ones came and hang out with you... to be happy in a crowd is expected but to be happy when you are alone, I guess that's a blessing from our Lord.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wonderful hub with a great message. I think alone time is so important. I have a writing studio and I love my time in it, away from everyone....lonely? I don't know what that feels like any longer.

      Great job; you are getting better before my eyes.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      @Maria Cecilia...Yes, it is a blessing. Thank you for reading!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      @billybuc

      Thank you thank you! So happy to have you in my corner! Enjoy that writing studio!

    • Lee Tea profile image

      Lee Tea 4 years ago from Erie, PA

      Ahhh...I enjoy just READING about alone time enough that it brings me some relief.

      You see, my youngest just started full-time kindergarten last week, and this is the first time in 7 years I've found the time to be alone. I LOVE it!! Lol...I was just looking out my open window a few days ago while the kids were in school, listening to the squirrels and the crows, smelling the fresh cut grass, thinking what a shame it would be if no one was home to enjoy this. I write and promote my business, and blissfully enjoy the parts of my day where I am allowed to think and act for myself.

      Thank you for embracing it, and letting us know you do. When I told people I had been looking forward to the day they both went to school, they usually squished their faces at me and frowned. Then I found an experienced mother like yourself at a craft show we both vended at last month, and when I talked about my kids going to school, I gave a half-hearted frown. She goes "why the frown"? I said, "I don't know, everyone's expected it from me, so I figured I'd pre-empt you". She also told me how she never did sad about her "empty nest".

      Everybody, (and especially young mothers come to mind) need to hear this message. Thank you for writing!!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much for your insightful comments. Enjoy your time. You never want to wish away their lives (I wish they were older, I wish they were in high school, etc) but you do want to celebrate their milestones and what it means to you as their mother. Kindergarten spells

      f-r-e-e-d-o-m for both of you. She/he gets to grow up and learn from others and you get to breathe! Never feel guilty for being happy about time off. It will make you a better, healthier mother!

      Thanks for reading this.I look forward to reading your hubs, too!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this, really. My memories have become very real. Understandably, people don't visit me anymore. My wife is gone most of the day.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      You are welcome Mhatter99! Thank you for reading and sharing. Why understandably?

    • Ryem profile image

      Ryem 4 years ago from Maryland

      This is a really good hub. I enjoy going out, but that alone time with my own thoughts keeps me sane. I can relate to this one.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you for reading, Ryem! And here's to sanity!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

      No children to miss in this family. But I do miss working. Like your title I feel lonely and not alone.

      I'll enjoy following you.

      Voted up and Awesome, Joyce.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Joyce! So happy to have you here! Thanks for your vote!

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      I'm but relieved that my 2 girls are well big enough not to depend on me too much, but I find myself now at other times depending on them. The world has turned around clockwise for me instead of counter-clockwise.

      But then our own free time plays a contributing role to a peaceful mind. They don't want me to be around them during the times I want them to be with me. It does bring many sad moments and "mommy" tears, but they want to be alone too (by themselves or with the company of friends or without mommy), and of course they are not lonely. I give myself my own space and time to be alone, and yes there are times that I agree that I don't feel lonely being alone, but then, there are times that I do feel lonely.

      As we women do know that "men do need their own 'alone' time" without us, but it is kind of difficult for us to understand, right? Why can't that "alone time" be spent with us, and not at most times with their buddies. We feel left out. Alone time with men does not really mean "solo", but out with their own pals, away from women, or be with other women? Hope that is not the case.

      I guess I am writing my thoughts too long here, but I do like and enjoy an ample time being alone. That is just so refreshing, relaxing and you can have fun what ever you feel like doing. Like hubbing on HubPages is my "alone" time, but I am not lonely with hubber friends I see.

      P.S. I guess it will be a different situation with a pet like my dog. If he is all alone, I bet he feels too lonely.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Not wandering at all! Just telling me you can relate. Relating is good!So happy to see you here. Thank you for your comments.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      ..yes the last time we spoke you were off on a road trip to Chicago I believe - is that right? It's always wonderful to see you on my humble hub page and I sincerely hope that all is well with you - I just had our Canadian Thanksgiving holiday which was on Monday but I have no family in this world other than my cats so holidays for me are a bit of a bummer that way - but I have my relative health, a creative mind , my two cats, a beautiful spot on the lake and a good group of hub friends here - but being alone sometimes means being lonely and the feeling of being on your own and then there are many times I appreciate my freedom and independence - ah such is life - we are all trying to have our cake and eat it too - and maintaining that precious balance in life - lake erie time 12:44 and sending you warm wishes from a sunny day here but a cold wind chill - it's fall now and it feels like it

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Happy Thanksgiving! I got a small taste of fall as you know it and am back in paradise for a fall that feels like a beautiful spring. Many of your compatriots visit Arizona in the winter. If you are ever this way, you are welcome to my humble abode, a little bulging at the seams but always welcoming and a happy place for me to return to!

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