Thursday, February 19, 2009

. . . listed good things

about living alone. It's been three weeks since I became the sole resident of this house. I am a statistic. It occurred to me that I have never lived alone in all my life: I shared a room at home with two sisters and a house with an additional three brothers, parents and an aunt; at college and the first few years I worked I had roommates. Then I had a husband, and then some kids. That may explain why I'm a hermit. Because living alone is not bad at all. Except I worry about becoming the neighborhood cat woman. . . you know, the old lady who lives with 86 cats and all the neighborhood children are frightened of her, and like a neighbor we once had, only puts on her underwear to go to the grocery store.

Of course there have been changes: I am much more aware of keeping the doors locked all the time. In fact, my son had to call me the other day and tell me he was at the front door, because I had locked all the doors to go to the studio and I can't hear the doorbell down there, especially with the Ipod turned up. But I'm not really frightened to stay by myself at all. If you live alone you can:

5. Get up or go to bed at any time you feel like it without being perceived as a whacko. If I want to get up at 4:30 a.m., okay; if I want to go to sleep at 8:30 p.m. or 1:00 a.m., fine.

4. Go down to the studio at any time, early, late, all day.

3. Do laundry once a week. Wait till tomorrow to sweep the kitchen floor. Keep the shower clean.

2. Go anywhere any time you want to. . . except you have to figure out where you want to go, and if you want to go by yourself.

1. Eat chocolate cake with whipped cream for dinner. (I just did this once, but it was delightful.)

Okay, so it's only been three weeks. The road ahead sometimes look pretty bleak; other times I can't wait to get on with my life. But I know that I need to remain calm and rational and not rush into things. I realize that I will probably lose my home, my studio, my garden; I may have to get a "real job." I don't think I'm as tough as I once was, and change is difficult. But then I looked at a picture of some of the victims of the civil wars occurring in Africa, and I think, what am I worried about? My life is so much better than that of so many people in the world. I'm thankful.


A rambling rose said...

Hi Mary and welcome to the single good life - I've been on my own for 5 years now and ok every now and then I think Whatif.....I wasn't but on the whole it's as you say - lots of good things - after years of parents, husbands, partners, children etc..... It is good to find yourself again! I have to add not always easy when various daughters decide to change there lives and share my space for a while but I love the change it brings to my life too - I can do what I like, when I like with who I like and where and how I like! I do lots of things on my own too and enjoy them immmensely - and yes there are things I miss but i don't dwell on them for long!!

Jazz said...

And #6 - put yourself first!

Sorry your lifestyle will change, but... naw, I was gonna say some cliché platitude here, so I'll just leave it at that.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I've had it both ways and I think their are good aspects to living alone and living with someone. It's change that takes courage and anyone who creates art knows courage so all should be well enough with time and have listeners and supporters!

Mary Buek said...

Rose: I think I'll probably be the one who has to move in with my kids, to their complete horror, and mine, too. Just kidding, I would live in a cave before I did that. All in all, it has been a liberating experience. I hope it continues to be.

Jazz: I know, since my life is such a stupid cliche right now. But thanks for reminding me who is No. 1 for a while, anyway.

Blue Sky: I appreciate all my blog readers to whom I can spill my guts. It's like group therapy. Thank you so much.

Wildeve said...

Hi Mary,
I have been alone for 6 months now. I get lonely, but I love having time to myself and doing exactly what I want, when I want. I have really gotten to know myself and rediscover my creativity.
I may not be able to stay here much longer, losing my home is a real possibility.
I completely understand!
I am involved with someone, but I have no idea where it will lead me.
I posted a poem on my blog by Mary Oliver that you might like if you get a chance to check it out.