Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Alone. I spend most of my time alone. There are a number of people who assume that I prefer to be alone. I do not. I was at a wedding and an acquaintance asked me, “Do you wish it were you up there?” I responded in the negative, at which time he said, “I suppose you probably decided what you want out of life some time ago.” I didn’t correct him, but he didn’t get it. My answer had nothing to do with a lifelong decision. When he asked the question, my mind went to the woman who as getting married that day. She was the type of woman that I know I would butt heads with daily. If the guy she was marrying wanted to put up with her, I was happy for him, but I wanted nothing of it. I haven’t found many women I thought would be an acceptable match. Those that I thought might be didn’t agree. So, I am alone.

There is more than one way to not be alone. When I go to church, I am not alone. When I visit someone, I am not alone. Sometimes, just getting out in my neighborhood, I encounter enough people that I’m not alone. But at the end of the day, when the church services are over, the visitors have gone home, and all the neighborhood dogs have been walked, I am alone. Just as some people struggle to find a place of solitude, I find myself wearied in the effort to find time to spend with others. The exhaustion overtakes me, and I once again find myself alone.

Things aren’t as enjoyable when you are alone. Time spent waiting when you are with someone is an opportunity to engage them in conversation, but when alone, it is just time spent doing nothing. Alone, one can see something and appreciate its beauty, but it requires another person to be able to express that beauty. One seldom finds a reason to laugh, when one is alone.

One of the things I’ve discovered is that being alone is out of my control. Oh, I could go visit some of my friends and they would let me in the door, but I know that they would reach the point of asking, “Why does he keep showing up?” much more quickly than I would tire of their company. That and there are differences in what I enjoy doing and what my friends enjoy doing. At some point, I end up alone.

Given the situation, I see a couple of realistic possibilities. I can sit at home alone, reminding myself that it isn’t as enjoyable to do things when you are alone. The other is that I can be alone while I’m doing stuff. Not everything. There are some things that are no fun at all to do alone. But if I’m going to be alone either way, there’s no point in not doing something because it is less fun to do alone. There is no point in waiting to do something with someone else, when there isn’t going to be someone else.