October 3, 2012

Which fork do I use?

This is the wallpaper I found…nice huh?

In the chaos of school holidays Im finding little snippets of time to sit and work. I also decided that if small people were on a break so would I.

Over the last two weeks Ive been in social situations that are a bit different from the red recliner in my lounge room with a green tea and a book perched on the arm. A bookclub, a dinner with friends, drinks at a bar, a night out with my man, a play with my old uni buddy and then a writers networking evening. Living the dream. Other than the fight to get out the door in something resembling clothes and no small people clinging to my ankles I found that the time to drive somewhere, alone, to sing to the radio and the allure of food that I hadnt cooked myself strangely panic inducing. Some days I worry that by the time I rejoin the world when my babies are grown that Ill forget which fork to use.

On Saturday evening I found myself in the loo of a restaurant taking a photo of the wallpaper with my phone and uploading it to Instagram. Ive become so used to working alone at home that my connection to the outside world (other than that that takes place in the school playground) is done by electronic means – I chat with case studies on skype, I talk to uni on the phone, I converse with real and not real friends on FB but I rarely talk to people in the flesh. As I returned to the table to tell my husband about the wallpaper I glanced across to see a woman sitting across from us – a woman that hosts an amazing show each week about the way in which spirituality is explored in society – she looked as engaging and warm as she does on the tele. I wanted to sit with her for a bit and talk about what episodes she had done that had resonated with me but then I remembered I was out on a date and so I returned to my table.

People are remarkable things, I could sit for days watching groups of friends interact,  couples sit and stare into space and not say a word, people obviously on first dates, gangs of girls wearing skirts as big as hankies. Being outside your lounge room gives you the chance to sit back and watch the world unfold.

I went off and met some of my online buddies last night, in real life. I took in the sound of their voices, listened to the nuances of their personalities you cant pick up online and  chatted, in real time.

Its easy to construct ideas of being social from inside your head. Being out amongst it is another thing. It trumps being housebound.

Are you a hermit or whatever the opposite of a hermit is?



Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. I was fairly hermit-like until I started making connections online about 7 years ago at which point my social life grew exponentially. It helped that this was also the point at which my youngest had reached the point of not needing me around every minute and my husband had stopped travelling for work at ludicrous levels.

    People watching is fun, I was doing a bit of that today as I drank coffee while my daughter busked up at Hornsby Mall.

  2. As it gets more complicated the more hermit like I become in the desperate attempt to pretend there is some calm control in all the chaos. Loved this blog and the one the other day about keeping daily decisions simple…… That’s meeeeeee my mind screams 😉

    J x

    • yes…the balance between too much and turn inwards is always a battle I have to fight. After so many years of not truly having a ‘home’ now that I have one, Im reluctant to leave it x

  3. Hi Sarah – I’ve just discovered your beautiful writing. Such poet’s perspective on life – I love that. Truly – I can’t wait to read more an d more of your posts. No wonder Karen likes you! 🙂 PS I’m a hermit with rehearsed non-hermit behaviour.

    • Wow thank you Deb. I sent Karen an SOS saying I needed some more writing to read to sustain me and she linked me up with you and Naomi Bulger. Lovely to ‘meet’ you and thank you for your kind words – my hermit soul needs them today x

  4. Total hermit here. My husband kind of is too, with both of us working a few days a week from home, plus the kids being young, we rarely get out. We went out for dinner last week as the boys went to a sleepover at Nan’s. When I’m out I tend to enjoy just being alone, but sometimes the urge to connect with new people is overwhelming.


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