I believe it is possible to be both a sociable person and at the same time someone who is comfortable in their own company. I’ve always enjoyed having time on my own and spent many a happy hour reading a good book, blog surfing, binge-watching a DVD box set, immersing myself in a cookery challenge or even taking in a movie at the cinema on my own (admittedly I’m only prepared to do this for a matinee – going alone in the evening would still bother me even now!).
I notice now that two things that very much characterise my life, parenting and blogging, are a funny mixture of the solitary and the sociable. On the one hand blogging can be a very sociable activity – all about communicating with others, supporting and sharing ideas. On the other it is by it’s very nature, solitary and not an easy thing to share with your nearest and dearest simply because it is so personal – it is as far from a team activity as it’s possible to get!
With parenting, you’re never alone – those little people do tend to be on your lap, in your ear, next to you as you head for the toilet… yet at the same time, it can be a lonely game – solitary in as much as adult company can be sorely missed some days and it can be boring and it can be isolating.
On the whole though, I have mostly positive connotations attached to the word ‘solitary’ – as I mentioned, being solitary can (and often does) give me the headspace I need to feel happy. This was always the way too, not just since having children.
On top of everything else another solitary activity has come to my notice lately. A friend recently recommended a podcast which she’d been listening to – you might have heard of it: “Serial” – one American journalist’s dissection of a cold case murder for which the wrong man may have been convicted. I then began catching little mentions here and there and succumbed to downloading the first few episodes on my phone.
I have not been a big one for podcasts up to now, literally only ever really listening to the Adam & Joe show in the past whilst out exercising (alone, obvs), but I got absolutely hooked by ‘Serial’ and after the last episode found myself scrabbling around for something to replace this experience.
Yesterday (after the development of my new *discovery*) I searched on Caitlin Moran to see if she had any stand up or other spoken material to download and found an interview recorded at the Edinburgh Book Festival plugging How to Be a Woman. It was such an entertaining listen I found myself popping the earphones in at every opportunity, unwilling to walk away from something that was ticking all my happiness boxes.
Maybe I’m too happy in my own company? Is that possible?
This post was written with this week’s Prompt from Mum Turned Mom in mind: Solitary