I love being alone.
I like being able to choose whatever I want for dinner. I like to cuddle up in ugly pajamas and even uglier knee-socks to enjoy some hot cocoa and alone time before the kiddos wake up to watch the Today Show and giggle at Al Roker and his cheesy jokes in the morning. I enjoy the fact that no one bothers me if I want to work on a scrapbooking project on the dining room table. I love having my kiddos all to myself, and that I get to go on endless adventures with them every single day. Their innocence and curiosity keep my heart going on days I thought it wouldn't, simply because I am able to listen in the quiet moments of their day.
That being said...
I hate being alone.
I know, I'm a walking dichotomy. Maybe it's that I try to see the silver lining in every situation. It could be that I'm nuts. Or, it could be that I want to be ok with my circumstances, because I know it is best for my kids for the time being.
I hate going to bed without anyone to talk to about the day. I hate not having anything to look forward to except bed time. I hate not having another life to share vicariously and not having someone to support and encourage that speaks in full sentences. I even hate not having to pick up giant clothes off the bathroom floor.
There are few things in life that I hate more than being lonely. If I'm not helping someone, getting to know someone or laughing with someone, I feel empty. It goes completely against my nature.
That being said, I spend a lot of time alone lately.
Between caring for the kids (who make me VERY un-alone, but VERY stressed at times with such a demanding myriad of needs), school, keeping up a household by myself, and working on photo shoots and other projects... I feel pushed to my anti-social limit. Although I want to get out and date, I have to do so sparingly. Taking time away from the kids is virtually impossible at the moment. They're going in a million directions at once, and they cooperate much like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park. Going into any situation as a team, they quickly detect weaknesses in their care providers and get into all kinds of trouble, making babysitters tougher to come by than if there were fewer (or even better behaved) children. At the moment, I'm not sure whether to give up entirely on the pursuit or to attempt yet another waste-of-time date. After so many men declaring their true intentions either by action or words, it all seems like a cruel joke. The only guys I can "count on" in my life are the little ones. My three saboteurs.
So, in the meantime, I choose alone-time. I'm on hiatus.
I am old and wise enough to know that this is just a season, and I am content with that. I've found wonderful ways to cope, and I'm learning more of them every day. Favorite of these strategies: always having a book in hand. It's amazing how much your heart can be contented by a good story and interesting dialogue. That, and having an overactive imagination can be more entertaining than real life.
What are your coping strategies for loneliness?