Aloneness – defined by Merriam Webster as separateness, solitariness – not to be confused with loneliness – defined as emptiness or hollowness inside, isolated.
It is interesting that it has now been just over a year since husband was released from his cancer pain and suffering, and yet I have not had any real sense of loneliness or aloneness – until this week. This week, for whatever reason, the reality of that aloneness has been circling around me.
That is not to say I’m lonely – that is not to say there is no one around me that cares, because there are dear friends nearby, dear friends not so near by, and family. I know I am liked, I know I am loved. I don’t have a problem living alone – I live quite well with myself. It is simply this realization that I am the only human in this house now. Fortunately I have my furry girls, or I would be known as the old lady who talks to herself. Odd, I think, that this realization has just surfaced and I wonder why. Not that it matters why – it is what it is.
My winter days are spent inside, a little time doing housework or laundry, but most of my time doing those things that appeal to me. Working on a photo book of our trip to Vietnam, practicing using Lightroom 5 and now Photoshop Elements 13, reading, napping, watching TV while I knit in the evenings. I knit because if I don’t keep my hands busy, they think they should be dipping into not-so-healthy snacks, like salty potato chips. So I knit, and Kat will take some of those knitted items back to South Korea with her this summer, to share with her friends and colleagues. Maybe some of them will find their way to the local women’s shelter.
The urge to take a road trip somewhere is hitting me, but winter is not a good time to do that. Our weather is such that getting out now would be easy – coming back, who knows? So I will think of places I’d like to go – without flying, because I am not ready to fly again so soon – and I will plan and plot and maybe, later on when the weather is more stable, I’ll actually get in the car with one of my furry girls and go. Only one furry girl, because my Bailey girl does not really like to travel and her old achey joints make it difficult. If, of course, I can find a suitable place for Bailey girl to stay while I am gone.
I think it really is not so much the going, as it is thinking about the going. This world has so much to see, so many places I would like to visit. But I am happy where I am too – perhaps it’s the knowledge that if I choose to go somewhere I do not have to consider whether someone else wants to go. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that I can be a free spirit now – or insofar as the budget permits I can be a free spirit.
Perhaps it is that I recognize that inside a somewhat conservative exterior, there lies a spirit that would drive a school bus yellow vehicle – something like the Subaru Crosstrek. There is this spirit that would wear tie-dye tops, flowing in the breeze, with sandals on the feet. There is this spirit that would climb to the top of a mountain and shout “hellooooo” just to hear the word echo back. There is this spirit that is willing, whether or not the body or the more conservative exterior is.
So I spend my time in my home with my furry girls, allowing myself to revel in the aloneness, the ability to do as I please when I please, enjoying the quiet without anxiety or remorse. I spend my time alone, but not lonely.
I know I have enough.