|Image by Michal Marcol via FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
When I was a freshman in High School, I had exactly one hour of time alone per day. The middle school ended an hour later than the high school, so while my parents were at work and my younger siblings still in class, I had one fabulous hour to read and have a snack and daydream in an otherwise vacant house.
[Insert large number here] years later, I still look back and remember how precious that time was to me.
Don't get me wrong. I like being with people. I have good friends, great colleagues, and I love my family. But when you have children, even going to the bathroom is a group activity. So I also cherish the time I have all by myself.
This past weekend made it clear to me once again, when we celebrated my son's birthday and had a total of thirteen people in the house.
In Germany, "inviting someone over" often means lunch, afternoon cake/coffee and finally dinner, so that meant the house was full from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm.
So while it was great seeing everyone, I couldn't help but have moments where I wished for silence.
In preparation for this blog, I did a Google search for images with the topic "Solitude". I was looking for a wonderful picture that would illustrate how peaceful being alone can be.
The Google result shocked me. Almost every image I found looked lonely. In the pictures, most people were photographed from the back - anonymous. Every person had their head bowed as if emotionally crushed or ashamed. One picture even showed a naked man curled in the fetal position in the corner of a cardboard box. Ouch!
That wasn't the solitude I was thinking of!
When I say "I love solitude", I mean the quiet calm of being alone with your thoughts. No tasks to be received any minute. No expectations from others on how you should act.