Dude. Solitude.

Sound the bells. I survived the Colorado Crash of 2012. I’m alive. Woohoo!

Yesterday I finally started feeling back to my normal sickley self, not my deadly sickley self. And it feels good to be able to be out of bed for more than an hour a day. That tends to wear on a girl…at least a little. I can’t believe what a disaster my Colorado vacation was. It’s funny I’m still referring to it as a vacation. That’s like taking someone to the DMV and calling it a date. It was really hard for me to enjoy my time there because I was in constant recovery, catch up, and crash mode and the cycle didn’t break the whole time I was there. I had to say no to things and miss out on things which I’m typically “OK” with but this time I felt real sadness and anger about it. I wanted to blame someone, I wanted a reason, I wanted to “talk to the manager” about this. I wanted it to be somebody’s fault and somebody to fix it. But, that’s not how it works. These are the things that teach us grace and surrender and sometimes getting the lesson is the most painful part. By the last night I had broken down in tears just exhausted from being exhausted and feeling like the Debbie of all Downers. This illness tends to turn its victims into high maintenance fun suckers when it’s at its worst, and nobody likes to be around that. By the end I was tired of who I was on that trip and what I required. But my brothers talked me through it and we decided that next vacation we take, we aren’t making an itinerary. We’re not overcommitting to engagements and we’ll try to just take each day as it comes. We’re going to try to effectively do nothing–something I’m pretty spectacular at and most people are still getting the hang of. I’m happy to teach my ways. I’m doing nothing right now!

 

As hard as the last two weeks have been, I feel like it is all starting to pay off because now I find myself in Paradise. My sisters in-laws left yesterday morning for a three-week trip to Africa. When they told me about their voyage months ago my first question was what they were going to do with Mikey–an enormous yellow lab and king of the household. When they threw around options I casually mentioned that Hey, I have nothing to do in August (or any month ever for that matter) and I could watch Mikey for them if they preferred he had a dogsitter. A few days later they took me up on the offer and even allowed me to bring Monty here too. So now, after all the exhaustion, noise, chaos, itineraries, plans and breaking of plans, I find myself in a beautiful California home with two loveable drooling teddy bears, and I could not feel more at peace having arrived. When I wake up in the morning, there is silence, and there is no itinerary to follow. DO YOU KNOW HOW GREAT THAT IS!?!?

 

Truthfully I have always treasured my solitude. If I were a Country Singer, I would write a song called “Solitude Has Always Been a Friend of Mine.” Anyway, it happens at least a few times a year that I require almost total isolation and dream of being locked up in a cabin somewhere and cut off for a little while. It’s like my souls version of food cravings. I have always enjoyed small endeavors on my own. Sometimes I like to eat at restaurants alone, or see movies or go to the bookstore. I love not having to keep up a conversation and going at my own pace, which is usually pretty slow. There isn’t anything so commonplace and exhausting to me as small talk. I have no patience or energy for idle conversations anymore. I don’t like having the “What’s new with you?” conversation. I don’t like to hear how your job is going or how your brothers band got a new drummer. And I don’t like to share news from my neck of the woods either–obviously because I don’t have any. “Yep, still sleeping on peoples couches. Well bye!” I realize this probably makes me sound like an old curmudgeon, and maybe I’m starting down that path at the ripe old age of 27, but there is something about those forced conversations that sometimes even the mere thought of them drains me. They just feel so inauthentic on both ends and since my time out of bed is so precious anyway, it’s hard for me to spend it on a conversation that we’re having to fulfill some duty–or because we feel like we should. This is why having a dog as a best friend works out great for me. No elevator talk.

I don’t care about your job.

Me either!

The other part is, while writing is my passion, it’s kind of  a lonely practice. You can’t do it well with people around. And you kind of have to “strike while the iron is hot” which is typically for me sometime around 3 in the morning. The act of writing is not nearly as satisfactory as the result, and many times the process is grueling. Anyway, the only living thing that can hang out but not disturb me is a dog. Two dogs even. So Monty and Mikey have been great companions. We eat, sleep, swim and write and there’s no itineraries or talking about our jobs. Wanda left me a note welcoming me to help myself to any and everything and to write a book while I’m here. Think I’ll take her advice.

Health, Happiness, Solitude.

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21 thoughts on “Dude. Solitude.

  1. I love this post/your blog…couldn’t relate more. I think taking some time to spend with just yourself is one of the best things you can do for your health. Even if you eventually do find someone you want to spend your life with, you can still share a special kind of solitude together. One of my favorite quotes is from Pulp Fiction: “That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut the f*** up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.”

    You are so insightful, Mary! Keep writing, ’cause it keeps me going :D

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    • Thanks dude! I still look forward to the day I find someone and we get enjoy silence together. I also just tried to open a jar of pickles for thirty minutes, so I’m looking forward to the day I get help with that too. Thanks for reading ;)

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  2. Mary, you’re so gifted with words and make me smile every darn time i read your posts! i do love how you can put perspective to even the worst of vacations with your humor. And it’s always SO LOVELY to feel like i’ve just hung out with someone who “gets it”…the whole vibe of, “really? you expect me to get out of bed today when even my skin hurts when the air touches it?” Really REALLY enjoy your writing!

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  3. Mary, you should know that I loved your visit here! Even when you were sleeping (or pretending to sleep), it was good to just be in the same room with you! You have a peaceful soul that is very refreshing sometimes. No agenda. Life is so chaotic most of the time, we all need to work on taking a deep breath and resting so that we can actually enjoy and appreciate what we have. So thanks for the quiet :) When you come back, we should “plan” on hanging out during nap time :) Love you cousin!!

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    • Even though I slept through half of it, I really really loved seeing you and everyone. Thanks for coming to hang out while I was passed out on a living room air mattress. I’ll be back soon, hopefully more alive than dead next time. ;) Love you.

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  4. I really enjoyed this post. As a 28yr old grump who prefers alone time (and who has the nickname “Grandpa”), stuff like this makes me feel less alone in my ways. Without all the pesky chatting nonsense. Give your dog friends my regards; they really are the best companions.

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  5. Truly wish our lives were different but this is the hand we were dealt. I understand your feelings exactly. As unfortunate as it is that your Colorado vacation was a bust, it may have been an awakening for some of the people around you. When people are well, sometimes they need a reminder of how thankful they should be that they are in good health. It could happen to anyone. You Mary, are a blessing to so many (including me). Enjoy your solitude while it lasts as it can sometimes be the best medicine. Have to admit that I’m a little jealous of your current living situation, lol. Have a great day!

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  6. This is so much like me. Especially lately. The fibro has me down so much of the time. It seems like I walk and feed the puppy, we play a little and then take a nap, watch a movie and do a little knitting. And repeat it the next day. I am sad that I am divorced but so happy to be in a quiet house. I miss people but am glad that I don’t have to talk to anyone if I don’t want to…Love Caller ID. Be happy in the quiet…
    Sara

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    • It’s a fine line. I know that if I keep this up I could end up a total loner hermit which doesn’t seem healthy either. Trying to enjoy the solitude when I have it and embrace the noise when it’s there too. Caller ID is the best. I’m glad you have a quiet house too, but don’t lock yourself in there forever! The world will miss you ;)

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  7. Hi Mary,
    Sorry I wont be there with you to play with the dogs and soak up the sun and trash TV. I’m glad to hear you are feeling better and that you have good, non-speaking company in Michael and Monty. Look forward to hearing more about your time there.
    Giselle

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  8. Ehmahgerd. Mikey is wonderfulness (and of course so is Monty). Enjoy your solitude but don’t let yourself get lonely; it can sneak up on you and eat your lunch. As a fellow near-curmudgeon and borderline hermit, I’ve learned this the hard way recently. I hope you have someone(s) fabulous nearby you can grab coffee with from time to time… then tell them to go the hell away. ;)

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