Friday, August 07, 2009

Solitude and Togetherness

I'm pushing it with my post for the day. I didn't even really think about what to write as I normally do. I'll blame on it busy day mentality. I worked on my syllabus, brainstormed ideas to get Piper into some kind of preschool, finished a brochure for my mother's husband, and cleaned some in the kitchen. After all this flurry, we packed up beasties and headed to the pool. After a few hours there, we went to eat, headed over to B & N, and just basked in being together. I love days like this, almost simply in their everydayness but complicated in the emotions they bring on.

Sometimes, I often long for friends outside of my family unit, but then I have a day like this one, and I just sink into the contentment that comes from being with my favorite people in the world. It was calming after a day spent feeling bitchy and rushed and slightly over-whelmed. I sank into the quiet simplicity of just hanging out, looking at books together, sharing what we found.

My family is really my center. I realized today that some of the feelings I felt a while ago came from not having enough solitude. I didn't take time out as I used to because I felt guilty about it. With the kids in school, and H teaching, it felt like much of my time was away from them. But I was also with Piper during most of that time, or with classmates or with students. I needed to take the time to just be a lone sometimes and I didn't. It's not a mistake I'll make again.

Life is a balance that way. I'm a person who values being a lone but I am also a very social person who enjoys times spent with people. But sometimes I over-whelm myself with both ways of living. There were times in my past when I was very much a lone, and I was miserable after awhile. I would go out to the local bar, the Granary, just to be around people even if I didn't really know them. I'd go to parties that I didn't really enjoy just to have some other human beings around. Of course there were other times when I was always surrounded by people: roommates, friends, etc. And those times drove me slightly insane as well. Now I feel like I have that balance. The people I'm surrounded by all the time, my family, complete me in ways I never imagined possible. But they also don't resent those times when I need to go out to a coffee shop and just be myself. It's a wonderful to way to live. And now that I'm aware of being okay with what I need I don't feel like I need to change where I am. I am in the space that makes me full.

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