I was ready to shut down for the night. Tucked in. Lights out. It was late.

I took one last peek at my Pinterest account before turning off my lap top. But if you’re anything like me, one last peek can easily turn in to a twenty-minute time suck, navigating through the mazes of the World Wide Web.

If you don’t know what Pinterest is, I’ll try to explain:

Pinterest is an online cork-board, where you can post (or “pin”) links to blogs, articles, videos, food recipes, or anything else you can find on-line.  There are brilliant ideas (who knew about all those ways you could use a binder clip?), gorgeous photographs of dream vacations, and countless designing ideas, from home decor, to crafty projects you can do with your kids.

Everything you “pin” is by way of a photograph.  So if you pin this post, for instance, the photo (above) of the woman on a park bench would appear on your board. People click on the “pin” (photo) – and poof! You are redirected to my blog. Similar to Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is another tool in social media to promote your blog (or artwork, or business, etc).

Okay, so back to last night, where I thought I was shutting down, until I was quickly distracted by someone’s “pin” (photo).

The picture was of a young boy, gazing out a window, and the caption read “Being alone.”  I was intrigued, so I clicked on the photo. After being redirected to a fabulous blog written by designer and mother of six, Gabrielle Blair, I checked out her post about how marvelous it was for her to go to movie – all by herself. Have I mentioned she’s a mother of six? What a treat!

The post goes on about how her kids were amazed she would do anything social on her own. She then asks her readers if they ever seek alone time.  A fantastic question for all – whether you’re single, married, with kids, or not – it’s an interesting dialogue. It sheds light on how people feel about being alone – does it necessarily mean they’re lonely? Does it make them sad, or are they just people who feel comfortable in being alone with themselves?

The timing of my online discovery last night was perfect, because this week, I’m embarking on an Open Call essay about what it’s like to be a single, middle-aged woman. My goal is to have my essay catch the editor’s attention and the piece will be featured on Salon – just like my piece about my sister was posted last week.

Regardless if my essay gets picked up, I have a feeling that just writing this will be good for me. It’ll cause me to trace my path, look at the choices I’ve made with past relationships, and really be truthful about where I am now, and where I want to be.

I once heard that the word “alone” could be thought of as “all one” – that when we’re alone, we have an opportunity to really connect with ourselves in such a way that cannot be done otherwise.

At the end of Gabrielle’s post, was a brilliant video by poet, Tanya Davis.

Rarely do I stumble across something online, half asleep, that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. After viewing this remarkable video for the second time in a row, my eyes welled up with tears.

What a delicious reminder for all of us:

Being alone can be a beautiful thing – a blessing – a gift to ourselves.

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“If you’re happy in your head then solitude is blessed, and Alone is okay.” – Tanya Davis

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Here’s the part where you tell me – how do you feel about Alone Time? Are you ever alone – do you wish you could be more – or, if you’re currently single, are you happy being on your own right now?

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24 comments

  1. I love each and every moment of my ‘alone’ time! Being a (gasp!) almost 46 year old mother of a 6 and 9 year old, along with being an adoring wife and stay at home mom, every second I have to myself is cherished. I never feel lonely when I am alone. Perhaps it’s because I know, in a matter of a few minutes or hours, my home will be swarming with questions about what’s to eat, where is my Barbie, or what can I play. And of course, the mess and laundry that comes along with them. I love my family more that all the words in all the languages, but, and that’s a BIG butt, being alone is like being freed from a prison where you must fulfill everyone else’s wishes and wants, each and every day. Like I said, I cherish each and every moment of alone time and, more often that not, find myself wishing I had more!

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  2. Omg, I crave alone time. I am so rarely alone. I used to hate my own company but now I love it (after much spiritual work on myself, I might add, and I now actually like myself!). I normally have to take the dog for a walk to be by myself or on the drive to work. I keep wanting to go on a silent retreat, but must admit that I am terrified of that!

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    1. I’ve heard about those silent retreats! If you’re terrified – you must do it! Facing our fears is so enlightening, isn’t it?

      I used to have a hard time being alone, but now, I really enjoy my own company. I am totally happy taking myself to dinner and people-watching. Also, it’s a great way to meet people – as I tend to chat up anyone who’ll listen. 🙂

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  3. I think for me, alone-ness has been one of those “grass is greener” things for many years. Right now, I feel like I have a great balance because my partner is understanding of my need for alone time, and at the same time, he is there when I want connection. Kind of like if your fridge was full of just ice cream, it would be unappealing after awhile. When I had all the alone time I wanted, I didn’t cherish it nearly as much as I do now. But I think that for the rest of my life, whether I am single or not, I can now make full use of the wide spectrum of possibilities that “being alone” offers. This post is such a fabulous reminder of that!

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  4. Tanya has updated this video since she first posted it!! As far as being “alone”, I enjoy my time with myself and like the sentiment of the video, I often find myself “blessed in my solitude”.

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  5. I think learning to be comfortable in alone-ness is one of the most important things a person (particularly us women) can learn. I have so many friends who struggle with this. But I’ve learned there’s nothing better than knowing you will always have yourself if everything falls apart.

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  6. I have felt a need for alone time my whole life. My daughter and I joke how we are, at times, extroverted/introverts.

    I sometimes wonder if this why I have insomnia. I get alone time every day!

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  7. Being alone isn’t always so great. Humans by nature are social beings. Stay with the pack or get picked off. It’s a survival thing. Look what happens to prisoners when they’re punished. They’re sent to the “hole” – removed from the general population. They are “alone” or as the dictionary defines it, “separate, apart, isolated from others.”
    For us law-abiding citizens, I suppose everything in moderation, right? Look how far the human race has evolved to prevent “aloneness.” Now we have social media. On the other hand, does technology allow us to stay connected with others so we aren’t alone? Or does it promote a false sense of community as we hide behind our computer screens while we’re alone? Something to ponder for sure.

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    1. Excellent point on social media and false sense of community. I agree about hiding behind the screen for sure. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I’m embarrassed it took this long to reply. My apologies.

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  8. For me, I love the.moments I choose to be on my own and the freedom it gives me. To explore thoughts and drift off without someone punctuating, asking, commentating, no syllabus, agenda or even reason sometimes, once you get over that “what should I be doing” moment and realise it was only the ironing, its a precious time of discovery.

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