Am I really alone? How many hours a day am I alone? What comprises being alone?
First…I am not a hermit and don’t think I would like to be. No, I am not in retreat from the world. There is always the telephone and the internet, books and journaling, car travel and airplanes. These are all my links to the outer world.
Second…Let’s look at the last month, August. My daughter and her husband came from New York City to visit for almost a week! We took a day trip to the coast, had dinner at a friend’s house in Eugene, dinner out at King Estate Winery, sitting on the patio and walking in the neighborhood. It was great! Two more of those days I was with my sister and her husband at the Oregon coast or entertaining them at my house. Four more days I was at a local AARP conference with lots of people. Interacting with friends and strangers. That’s face to face. Three more days there were doctor’s appointments and health tests. Walking every morning and speaking to people. Weekly trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, etc. add another ten interactions with people. Telephone calls from family and friends about twice a week. Another ten interactions. Writing in my journal most every day. Checking in with friends and family through facebook and my daily emails adds up to another thirty interactions. Wow! When am I really alone? At most meals and sleeping.
Being an older woman and being in good health is key to this aloneness. Setting daily goals for myself is another key. I look at the month’s calendar and plan out times to travel, call, write, shop, volunteer, etc.
So living alone is both a choice and a gift. Every day I decide what I will do, how I will dress, when I will eat, where I will go, and when I will sleep. Because I am no longer working and I have a fixed monthly income, I am my own keeper.
Next time we will look into some of the challenges of living alone. See you then.