April 20, 2012

Seeking solitude

I was listening to a program on Radio National this morning about solitude (its fab, listen here). I was listening while in the garage trying to run  trying is the operative word on the treadmill and wondering if all the cards I had thrown in the air lately where going to land in the configuration I wanted.

As I stepped through the puddles in the backyard on the way to the backdoor my eye caught a little pink bucket in the middle of the lawn full of water. When I first met my husband he and I had become accustomed to the solitude of sole parenting. We both had our little behaviours that we had honed in separate houses once the small people were finally in bed. One of his was his rain gauge…it had its pride of place in the backyard, attached to a large stake in the ground – it looked like a test-tube within a bucket making it easier to capture the showers and downpours. Im sure thats not a very scientific explanation of a rain gauge? He would record the rainfall figures on a spreadsheet and then use it in conversations when he was stuck for something to say we got 8 ml last night he’d mention with his hands stuffed in his pockets.

One of my favourite Sex in the City episodes was the one where the girls shared their secret single behaviours…the things we do when no one can catch us, no one can ask why we are doing something that usually looks peculiar to the outside world. When Im alone I love popping my babes into bed, making a big bowl of cereal and lying on the lounge with a big mink blanket and watching complete series of the Gilmore girls…could life get any better? Im not sure if that is a rhetorical question or asked with a hint of sarcasm.

Some of us are great at solitude, we crave it, we look for opportunities for aloneness. But for others that aloneness presents as loneliness and the hours stretch ahead with a dismal gloom that only lifts when they are safely in the company of others.

I tipped out that bucket as I wandered into the house. I looked over at the rain gauge full of moss, its figures had stop being recorded long ago. Thats the thing about the behaviours of our solitude, they change and you find that for some (well for us) being alone together is the new secret single behaviour we crave.

Do you love solitude? What your secret single behaviour?

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. I go a bit peculiar if I don’t get a regular dose of solitude, this being the tail-end of the school holidays I am therefore at present rather peculiar indeed. The consequence of which is I end up staying up way too late at night having waited to start my me time until everyone else is asleep. That’s backfired quite badly this week as my husband has been getting up at 1am to attend an online conference in the US all week.

    I think my not so secret single behaviour would be watching box sets of sci-fi tv series and drinking endless cups of fancy tea.

    • I can understand the tea but you are definetly flying solo with the sci fi…Ive been doing that too, staying up too late just to wring a few hours out of the day where I can sit still and breathe out. Bring on Tuesday!

  2. Trash TV, a glass of red, candles going…..anything Kardashian like is perfect. It’s about escaping reality, losing yourself and not having to think anything for just a while. I love secret solitude – but am actually quite open about it. I don’t have pay TV (I would never leave the house , I love trash that much), so I get my friends to record it for me then I offer to babysit – kids are in bed, they have usually made me dinner or I order pizza and I get my secret solitude sin. Win Win Win.

  3. Love me some soltitude!! Don’t get too much of it these days obviously but when I do – it’s couch + book for me!! Nothing better 🙂


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Mental health, Parenting


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