Quality hobbit time (alone but not lonely)

Oh good, today's writing prompt doesn't make me want to punch writing prompts in the face.

Do you enjoy being alone? What do you do when you're by yourself?

I'm an introvert and I love being alone. To a fault, perhaps.

I know that extroverts find "recharge" in being social--talking and being around other people.

Introverts, however, get that same recharge by spending time alone. Because being alone is not about being lonely. It's just the opposite actually. For me anyway. Being around other people, in certain situations, can make me feel more alone than ever.

It's an interesting dichotomy because if you are one side of this coin then it's really difficult to grasp the other side of the coin. As in, why on earth would anyone want to be around people that goddamned much?

Or, if you're an extrovert it's something more like this: Jesus, why are you such a hermit? (Or as my friend K. once called me, a "hobbit'. She meant 'hermit' and we all laughed because somehow hobbit seemed appropriate too and now in my head I think of myself as more of hobbit than a hermit--but I digress).

I am not a complete hobbit, however. I do get some charge/recharge from being around others. I hate small talk but thrive on good conversation. I love going to live shows or sporting events and feeling the energy of a crowd. As a teacher I get energized from teaching a class.

But all of this also mentally exhausts me, and so I retreat.

Mostly, my alone time comes in small chunks. An hour in the morning drinking coffee before I have to face the world. Some quiet time on the weekend mornings with a book and nothing else. A few hours at night or on the weekend if Cory's gone. But even just a few people-free hours can make a world of difference. It gives me time--not so much to think but to let my mind unfold and decompress. When I don't get this, I get tense, anxious, grumpy.

Being alone doesn't have to be something profound or special or meditative.

Some of the most mundane hours spent alone are also the best: Doing laundry, washing dishes, reading, watching trashy TV, spontaneous dance party for one, music blaring.

I love longer stretches of alone time, too--though I don't get them nearly enough. I used to work from home more often and even though I do get a lot out of being with co-workers I love working alone--padding around in pajamas, cats on lap, stopping to make a healthy, tasty lunch in my own kitchen and, as always, music playing.

Once when Cory went on tour I scheduled a week off to coincide with his being gone. I spent that week goofing off around the house (cleaning, going through things, etc), writing, cooking, reading and, even, hanging out with friends.

I've made solo cross-country trips by car and by train and have been trying to figure out the logistics of doing another such trip this summer or next. I need a good stretch of quality hobbit time.

But even more short blocks of time would help. I'm not quite sure how to make this happen--short of conjuring up more hours in the day--because I've also resolved to consciously spend more time with friends. To reach out, to plan things, to be spontaneous. I need that too.


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