Saturday, 7 August 2010

Me, myself and I

Pondering the view
Originally uploaded by bexybeads
There are many many wonderful things about living on your own. Some of my particular favourites are - not having to accommodate anyone else's tastes, not being woken up at an unearthly hour by little people, being able to choose what I do and when I do it without reference to others - including hoovering at 2 in the morning if the mood takes me, not that it does very often, at 2 am or at any time if I'm honest!

I also enjoy being able to cook whatever I like for my dinner and not worry about whether it's going to be ok for others too. Or even not cook at all and just snack and graze my evening away. It's good fun being able to come home and decide for myself whether to put the TV on, listen to music, play on the computer or just sit and knit without having any of that moderated by AN Other.

But at the same time, it can be really lonely. I find Friday nights are the hardest. When everyone else is looking forward to the end of the week and a break from work, I'm quite often wondering what on earth I'm going to do to fill my time on my own. It's not every weekend and I don't really know what the trigger is, but there are Friday evenings when it all just feels too much.

Last night was one. I came home from work after a long, busy and quite hard week and instead of feeling relieved, I just felt incredibly sad. I don't think it was helped by being one of the last people to leave the office either. Walking out on my own with no-one to say cheerio to just reinforced the Billy-No-Mates feeling I suspect. I wandered into town intent on cheering myself up with a takeaway from the new Indian restaurant that's recently opened near me but when I got there, I couldn't quite bring myself to go in and order food. The effort was just too much. Pathetic, I know, but when I get my 'Friday feeling' even things like that are too much.

So instead I headed home, feeling sorry for myself and sat in the flat by myself. I could (and probably should) have called a friend but I didn't. I didn't want to inflict myself on anyone in that mood, and anyway - I reasoned - they'll all be out doing things and it will only make me feel worse to find out they're all too busy to see me. What I did instead was dig something out of the freezer to eat - which by happy coincidence turned out to be a vegetable curry I'd made a previous weekend, and not the aubergine bake I thought I was defrosting, poured myself a large glass of wine and settled down to watch some mindless TV and try to finish my sister's birthday present.

It worked a bit but what worked more was taking the plunge and posting on Facebook that I was feeling a bit down, and then seeing all the lovely, funny, sarcastic, thoughtful comments and messagescome back from friends. Reading other people's posts was also a good tonic - friends who invariably see the world in the best possible light, who generally have quirky, funny things to say, or who just deal with so much more difficult things than me in an awesome and inspiring way.

I'd love to say that I'm feeling fully recovered today and that everything is just lovely. I'm not, but it is better. And I'll get up shortly and get on with my weekend. I know that doing things will make me feel better than sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I know that while I'm sad just now, I will be happy another day and that both emotions are important and natural and inevitable. And if they're not, then life would be really really dull.

In an attempt to cheer me up, a friend texted me to remember that Life is Pain, referencing someone I'd never heard of. So in this internet age, I went ahead and googled it. I'm not sure if this is the intended reference but it made me laugh. Thanks x

I've since discovered that the reference was to a film quote instead - much more benign than the one I found! Which made me laugh even more!!


ebbandflo said...

it is liberating to have your own company, but yes - it's also quite lonely living with no points of reference. though i long for bursts of time living on my own again i know i would miss my housemates so somehow i try to carve out the solitude while reaping the benefits of sharing my living space. i suppose now, with the wee guy in fulltime (ho ho) schooling and my other half gainfully employed, i do have the best of both worlds in this respect. i do need to get out more though and would say that, from what i remember, being lonely when you're not living by yourself is by far worse. if i could have the choice i'd much rather have my lonely down-times totally alone than wrapped in the bosom of my family. i loved puttering around by myself when i lived in morpeth, i had the house as a distraction though and a good dog by my side which made a difference. i think i also had a wider circle of friends then too. looking back, it was also the period of personal growth too. if you can look on a bright side and use the solo time productively you will reap the benefits big time.
until then, chocolate, booze and bacon!

Just Frances said...

Oh, how I hate those silent weekends! I always tell myself that I'm going to do this, that, or the next thing then I don't. I know just what you mean about some weekends being harder than others! I often times 'pretend' that everything is peachy-keen which sometimes helps. And when all else fails, I just remind myself that I have an excellent collection of fine wines and I'm a pro at mixing martinis...

I've found a lot of inspiration from you though. Your stories of tango classes and hikes have inspired me to get out and do things, too. It takes strength and courage to do those things alone! (So, thanks!)

If - no, when - I get back to the UK, we can be Billy-No-Mates together!