Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Ramble

The insight we gain from solitude has very little to do with
the amount of time we spend alone. It has a lot more to do
with the quality of time we spend with ourselves.

Jan Johnson Drantell

I had a very quiet weekend. After a busy day on Saturday, shopping and cooking, I took full advantage of my Sunday. Slept in until 10:30 (late for me), then did some reading, watched a few episodes of Law and Order, and eventually put in a DVD I had recently bought about Ireland. And all through the day, I lounged in my jammies. I ate, yes, but made sure it was healthy food which kept me on my WW count.

Earlier in the morning, hubby had gotten a call about his son and had to go try to talk some sense into the kid before he winds up back to the hospital.  I don't know if I had mentioned this before, but his son's mom and grandmother both had schizophrenia, and the kid has inherited it. He refuses to comply with his medications and has been in and out of hospitals for the past 10 years. We tried having him live with us for awhile, but within a week, he had stopped his medications. Now, he lives in a supervised mental health residence, and even they cannot get him to take his medication. Sadly, I feel this will be the way he spends the rest of his life; he is only 27, but now, even on medication, has difficulty functioning.  I know this bothers hubby a lot more than he lets on. He knows that I am there for him it he wants to talk, but I don't push.
Needless to say, my son went to a friend's house for the day, and I found myself alone on a Sunday....not that I am complaining. In my opinion, there is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. Some people can live comfortably with their aloneness, while others perceive the feeling as loneliness. I guess being an only child has taught me well.  Lately, I've been thinking about that a lot.

It's that time of the year that my co-workers as they busily prepare for graduations and weddings,  and I must admit, I have felt a tinge of regret whenever they mention their siblings and their parents for, aside from some distant relatives I've met through my Family Tree, I've no one left.  I never had that brother to watch over me, or that sister I could go to with my problems.  I know, it's always peaches and cream with siblings, but right about now, I wonder what it may have been like.  

When people find out I am an only child they usually say, "Oh, you must have been spoiled."  How little they know that it can be rougher on us than those who were raised in a large family, but one thing you do learn is how to improvise.  We learn to devise our own games and solitary pastimes, and although we may be the center of our parents' attention, it may not be the kind of attention that we really want.   While we may be craving for love and affection, we are, instead, flooded with material goods such as toys and clothing.  Yes, as an only child, my Christmases were filled with more gifts than any child could possibly want, but what I needed was to know that my life mattered, that I wasn't alone, that I was loved.

There were many times in my life, until I was left alone, that I wished for solitude. I now find that I love solitude. I never had the blessed gift of being alone until the last of my loved ones was wrested from me. Now I can go sometimes for days and days without seeing anyone. I'm not entirely alone, because I listen to the radio and read the newspapers. I love to read. That is my greatest new luxury, having the time to read. And oh, the little things I find to do to make the days, as I say, much too short.

Solitude--walking alone, doing things alone--is the most blessed thing in the world. The mind relaxes and thoughts begin to flow and I think I am beginning to find myself a little bit.

--Helen Hayes--


  1. i think no mater how old our Children get we worry , just that we can't let on all the time because they think we worry TOO much :)...i use to be the same with my Mom. Glad you are enjoying your solitude, it is something i also can appreciate

  2. I too love solitude, but last night before I fell asleep I turned towards hubby and kept touching his arm for the closeness I yearned for thinking how I will miss out on that simple act when he is gone.

  3. Lovely post. I especially love Helen Hayes' words. She sounds as if she was a wise lady, as well as a great actress.

    Sorry about your husband's son. Yes, I remember about him. -sigh-


  4. I am 10 years younger than my closest sibling, so I was basically an only child because my siblings all left home by the time I was 9. I too love my solitude and have no trouble being alone. I don't see it as being lonely. I like quiet pursuits, too and I attribute that to my childhood - the only child thing and my mother's battle with depression. I was on my own a lot. I'm so sorry about your husbands son - schizophrenia is such a horrible disease - I just can't imagine. I wish you both the best.

  5. I'm with you Mary...I love the gift of solitude. I've lived the solitude life for many years now and it fits me like a well-worn kid glove. If I need to be with someone, be it family or friend I give them a ring. I'd much rather be attuned to what my spirit calls me to do and not have to worry about anyone else. Perhaps that is selfish of me but having worked in the Public for many years created in me a place of cherishing my alone time.

    Sorry about your hubby's son...mental illness wreaks havoc on everyone doesn't it?

    I've been sitting here catching up a bit...good to read this morning and be quiet!

    What is up with the Nurse in your organization? Good Grief Charlie Brown!
    I think she needs to go back to school? How can they let this woman do anything for people? I'd be afraid of a law-suit!

    Well, anywho...have a superb day Dear One!
    Loving You Sister/Friend is such a delight!