Monthly Archives: December 2014
Are you big on definitions? Because I am, and here we go.
Lonely as described by dictionary.com means, among a couple other things, destitute of companionship and support, and isolated.
Isolation I like, because I am an introvert, and I frequently choose a sort of solitary confinement at home, where I’m really comfortable. And can be solitary. But it’s also in my home that I am destitute of (adult) companionship and support, because it’s just me and my daughters. What an unfortunate contradiction, right?
Loneliness is a fact of life, though. We all feel it now or later, because it’s a natural occurrence of the human condition. And so I allow myself to go through the emotional dip. I don’t let it shame me. I embrace it, even. Mostly.
“Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.” — Henry Rollins
I think Henry’s right, it lends some significant moments untouched by others. Too, it’s from out of loneliness that comes a strength dependent on no one else. It’s when you surprise yourself, I’ve learned. Get things done, make yourself proud. Figure out what it means to make your own self happy, and just be you.
But there’s the downside, too. Loneliness breeds a longing for companionship, romantic or otherwise, and for interdependence. That’s something we all need, another fact of life, another part of the human condition—we are not meant to be without it. That’s the kind of loneliness that comes on so strong for me at times, especially during the holidays, and especially when my girls are with their dad.
I do make the most of my “me time.” That’s when I do my best “introverting.” I get stuff done that I can’t give focus to when I have my girls. I watch movies they won’t appreciate, and read a lot. I (sometimes) get sociable (just nothing too crazy). And sure, sometimes I mope.
It’s an interesting awareness, not wanting to be lonely, and having to admit that you are, that you’re in want or need of someone else…
“I’ve got everything I need except a man. And I’m not one of those women who thinks a man is the answer to everything, but I’m tired of being alone.” — anonymous
I had a romantic companion through part of 2014, but timing was off, circumstances were not as I’d hoped. So for now I am without. Though this contributes to my loneliness, it’s okay. I’m okay. I have the utmost faith that it won’t always be this way. (And it’s smart to point out, I think, that I’d rather be alone and a bit lonely than in the wrong relationship, one that’s forced, or unhealthy, or just flat not meant to be for whatever reasons. And I’m glad to feel this way, I can’t tell you how much.) But I do get tired of being alone.
I also know that no one—no one with the fullest house, not with the most “perfect” significant other, not even one who chooses, willingly and happily, to be single or be around no one—will ever live without loneliness.
And so I take it for what it is. Loneliness is an emotion. It’s an experience.
It’s an occasional visitor I both welcome and despise, because of the rounded out perspective it allows during this silly little thing called life.
I love irony. The best thing about an ironic situation is the way it sneaks up on you. This Holiday season, for example, I thought it would be a good time of year to have elective surgery. That sounds like plastic surgery, but no. That’s a slippery slope I’m too chicken to attempt. I had foot surgery to repair the torn ligament in my right foot. I’d spent eight weeks earlier in the year wearing a boot to try and get the darn thing to heal on its own, but it never did. So…
We’d met our deductible, the kids were almost out of school (which meant another driver was available), and my husband would be around considering he hadn’t scheduled any travel due to his recent knee surgery. And really, there would never be a good time to be unable to drive for two weeks.
The surgery went well, I was numb for two days so I thought I’d have an easy recovery, and then WHAM! Suddenly my foot had a pulse of its own and I was in pain. My husband’s supposedly light work schedule had him running from one meeting to another, and as soon as finals were over, my son came down with some feverish virus. In a nutshell, we were a hot mess.
As I sat on the couch, working on the book about Chris Norton who lives his life in a wheelchair, the irony of the situation smacked me in the face. I’m totally blessed because my situation is temporary. I’m going to fine soon, my son will get better, and my husband won’t leave me because I’m a little bossy, impatient, and needy for a few days (right, honey?)
So I’m done whining. And if I’m a little bored sitting on the couch watching mindless TV (or endless episodes of yet another Alaska show on the Discovery channel thanks to the hubs who leaves the remote suspiciously out of reach), I’m going to suck it up and remember the reason for the season and how truly blessed I am. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all from the very blessed (if not a little irritable) Hayes Family! May your season be merry and bright 😉
Today is the first full day of Hanukkah, so the holidays are in full swing. For me, the season has always been about music: Carols when I was little. Sacred music when I sang in my high school and college choirs. (I still think Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” is the most joyful 4 minutes of music ever written.)
My favorite carol is “Little Drummer Boy,” so I was entranced when this cover by Pentatonix went viral last year:
They’ve got a new Christmas album this year, and I just love this song:
Pentatonix has a very contemporary sound, but if you’d like to hear something completely different, here’s a playlist of medieval Christmas music from Anonymous 4. This selection spans a thousand years, from the fifth century to the fifteenth. It’s a wonderful reminder of the power that holidays hold, and how they inspire us through the ages.
To me, it doesn’t feel like Christmas without the music of the season playing. What about you? What puts you in the holiday spirit?