In April 2009 my son left home for the Navy. At the time I had a boarder who would come and go between house sitting jobs until he finally moved out in October. I was fifty-one years and two months old and for the very first time I lived alone, well except for the dog, two cats and cockatiel.
It was disconcerting in the beginning. It’s a reasonable size house so I had a lot of space to myself. I spent a lot of time at friends. After two teenagers I missed the noise. Even when my son slept – there was noise because he would have his radio on. Just enough so I could hear that there was noise.
I grew up in a city where there was always noise; cars, neighbours on the other side of the walls, someone’s radio or TV.
Small towns are still noisy, but it’s a different type of noise. There is the odd kid who screams down our street trying to be a boy racer, but we’re more likely to hear a horse racing along, or the tuis calling to each other in the trees.
I live on the edge of town, where there are still a few paddocks left and the river hits the inner harbour at the end of my street. Now that the house is a lot quieter I appreciate those sounds more.
I still visit friends and they call in here for a chat and a coffee. The dog takes me walking most days, along the river.
Somewhere in that time, the compulsion for company, for the noise of others has disappeared. My deck has become a favoured place, especially this summer.
I’ve lived in New Zealand, in this town, for eighteen years now and I’ve never known a summer like it. Land of the Long White Cloud my arse.
It was with dread that I imagined living alone as the time got closer for it to happen. How would I handle the loneliness? Being alone is not the same as loneliness though.
The last years of my marriage were the loneliest time in my life. And the first few as a solo mother were pretty lonely, even with the children.
So why am I not lonely now? It became obvious to me a few months ago.
The sink was clogged and the kitchen floor was covered with everything I had hauled out of the cupboard. Towels were lying around everywhere ready for any mess, and wrench in hand I was on the floor pulling the s-bend apart.
That is a lot more dangerous than it sounds – thankfully ALL inhabitants of the house survived the experience !!!
The demented fox terrier was licking my feet when the youngest cat thought it might be a good time to spring down on to my belly and start kneading it into a pillow. I heard a sound that pulled me up.
Me. I was laughing. Not that I don’t like to laugh – I do. I laugh a lot I think, around others. But it was apparent I was enjoying myself, by myself.
Why didn’t I laugh when I was on my own before? There was the odd chuckle at something, but this was belly rolling laughter.
Enough that the cat left in disgust.
It’s happening a lot these days. I don’t think the neighbours will call for help for the crazy lady – they’re used to me being a bit odd. I can hear them thinking, she was born in Australia, poor woman.
It’s simple – I enjoy my own company. I like me. Most of me anyway, except for my boobs. I used to be so proud of them. Now I have to be careful when I am getting dressed that I don’t accidently tuck them into my jeans.
When I find the IDIOT who thought up gravity…
I’ve noticed I dance alone too. It seems to go with the laughter. That’s not as mad as it sounds. Really.
This is definitely a post I can relate to, however right now Im not laughing too much. Ive had my husband home from working overseas for 4 and a half months and I got used to having him around again. So when he left for this new job I thought…..yeah its not gonna be a problem, but man I moped around for a week, just me and the dog staring out the window looking sad……taking a while to get used to being alone again dammit….I hope I’ll be laughing again soon.
I’m sorry he had to leave Wendy. Get back into that blog of yours!!!!!
SO many terrific posts here I wasn’t sure which to comment on. Thank you for your terrific site, your wonderful photography…and for your thoughtful comments to skydiaries. I was really glad to see your name appear there!!!
Thank you so much – I am thrilled you dropped by and like it. I am a fan of all your stuff as well – will pop and and work my way through everything you have.
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